if you've ever felt like going to the gas station was in some ways similar to a junkie visiting a dealer, we've got the movie for you. Pump: The Movie is coming to theaters next month and it looks like it's going to put the addiction to oil message front and center. We like the movie's take-no-prisoners tagline: "Some battles need bullets. This one needs tanks."
There are drawbacks to every kind of alternative to burning fossil fuels in our cars. Electric cars don't have enough range. Hybrids are burdened with what essentially boils down to two parallel powertrains. Hydrogen is limited to where it is available. Bio-ethanol has its own drawbacks, but don't tell that to the performance enthusiast. That's because E85 – similar to what IndyCars run on but mixed with 15 percent pump gasoline – is not only a renewable and cleaner source of energy,
There are drawbacks to every kind of alternative to burning fossil fuels in our cars. Electric cars don't have enough range.Hybrids are burdened with what essentially boils down to two parallel powertrains. Hydrogen is limited to where it is available. Bio-ethanol has its own drawbacks, but don't tell that to the performance enthusiast. That's because E85 – similar to what IndyCars run on but mixed with 15% pump gasoline – is not only a renewable and cleaner source of energy, it also
It could be argued that flex-fuel vehicles are simply a product of government subsidies and the automotive industry's self-conjured up image of environmental saviors. What does this mean? Well, vehicles capable of running E85 receive CAFE credits that help automakers offset some of their less fuel-efficient offerings. This allows manufacturers to continue producing gas-guzzling vehicles while also keeping the government at bay. In addition, production of flex-fuel-capable vehicles is a relativel
Turn back the clock to 2006, when Ford Motor Company announced it was taking flex-fuel vehicles seriously. That year, the company built 185,000 autos that could run on gasoline, ethanol or any combination of the two up to E85 (85 percent ethanol). Ford also pledged that the company's production of flex-fuel vehicles would double by 2010.
Here's the problem with flex-fuel vehicles. Also known at E85-capable, flexfuel rides can burn straight gasoline or a gasoline/ethanol blend that is up to 85 percent ethanol. But, since they don't need ethanol, the reality is that most people fill up with petroleum pure and call it a day (in most of the U.S., ethanol isn't all that easy to find, although it's easier now than ever before). The latest numbers available from the U.S. government say that that about 300,000 E85-capable vehicles actua
Here's the thing: American automakers used to fully support E85-capable (aka flex-fuel) vehicles. With a few cheap additions to a standard engine ($100, or thereabouts), a car could get a special badge, drink corn (where available) and get the automaker a bit of goodwill, especially from politicians. The Auto Alliance often went out of its way to proclaim all of the flex-fuel vehicles its members were selling (see this PDF).
GM has long been a proponent of using high-level ethanol blend, E85, in motor vehicles. But, with all of the talk of putting E15 or E20 (gasoline with 15 or 20 percent ethanol blended in) into the national supply - see these earlier posts about the EPA, the Minnesota Ag Department, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Underwriters Laboratories on the topic - GM's Biofuels Implementation Manager, Coleman Jones, has found "Seven Reasons Why Testing Mid-level Ethanol Blends Matters." The short ve
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a call today that asks for comments on what would happen if E15 became common in the national gasoline supply. In early March, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers submitted an application for a waiver that would allow them to increase the blend of ethanol in gasoline from ten (E10) to fifteen percent (read the PDF).