It's no secret that the writers at Forbes are not fans of plug-in vehicles. What do they suggest we use instead? Burn ethanol, at least if you live in the Midwest.
An article by Robert Rapier says that the 15 Midwestern states that make up the second Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD, of which there are five in the U.S.) also happen to produce about 95 percent of all the ethanol made in the U.S. The problem is that 70 percent of that biofuel is then shipped outside of PADD2 and imported gasoline is used to move vehicles. Rapier writes:
These numbers imply that instead of looking at E15 mandates and ethanol pipelines, the ethanol industry would be better served to capture the E85 market in their own backyard. ... if E85 could only capture a third of the market in the Midwest, all ethanol produced in the Midwest could be used locally in the Midwest and oil imports could be backed out of the region.
Rapier is aware of the need to upgrade the infrastructure to accommodate ethanol, and it's hard to argue with him about this point. If the biofuel is already made, why spend energy and fuel shipping it elsewhere? Just stick it in the tank and off we go – until we get more cars with plugs, of course.

[Source: Forbes | Image: diaper – C.C. License 2.0]

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