What caught my eye on this story was not the fact that E85 enthusiast Greg Pawlowski is touring the Midwest as part of a 20-city Ford promotional tour. He reports no difference in engine performance while using E85, however he notes there can be long stretches between finding E85 pumps. Nothing new, right?

The most startling revelation came in the middle of the story when the reporter paraphrased Pawlowski about the subject of reduced fuel economy. According to Pawlowski, he's talked to flex-fuel vehicle owners who report a mileage reduction of only five percent.

I'd sure like to meet those owners since even the most optimistic estimates are around 20 percent.

In my last test drive of a flex-fuel vehicle, I drove a new Chevy Avalanche 753 miles on 47.5 gallons of regular for an average of 15.9mpg. The next 219 miles consumed 19.2 gallons of E85 for 11.4mpg or a reduction of 28 percent. The E85 cost $3.15 per gallon at California's only ethanol pump in the state while regular was $3.39 at the time. Pawlowski filled up for $2.19 while noting regular gas was around $2.50.

It's a great idea to promote alternative fuels but aren't comments like the one reported in this story quite misleading?

[Source: AgricultureOnline]

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