There are already millions of flex-fuel vehicles on the road today, and manufacturers like General Motors have committed to building many, many more. In fact, GM has plans for half of their entire fleet of automotive offerings to be flex-fuel capable by the year 2012. According to Jim Wagoner, GM's CEO, if all of the flex-fuel vehicles that are currently on the roads were actually powered by E85, the U.S. could displace 22 billion gallons of gasoline annually. This raises a serious problem, though, considering that there are only about 1,400 E85 pumps in the entire country. Many of those are all clustered in a few Midwestern states. In view of this, Wagoner suggests that the U.S. needs about ten times as many E85 pumps than are currently operational.
No matter what your view of E85 may be, you likely agree that using food crops such as corn is not the best choice. In lieu of corn, Wagoner suggests investing more heavily in cellulosic ethanol (which is exactly what GM is doing with Coskata in the deal announced today). There is plenty more to read here, where you can read the text of the Wagoner's entire speech. You'll also encounter a couple of very, very bad jokes. Enjoy!
[Source: General Motors, CNET Green Tech blog]