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 relatively low cost affair that allows automakers to boast that they are committed to producing Earth-friendly vehicles, despite the fact that the merits of E85 as an environmentally conscious fuel choice have been questioned.
Come 2016, most CAFE credits for flex-fuel vehicles will be phased out and industry analysts predict that production of vehicles capable of running E85 will slowly dwindle down to nothing. Any remaining CAFE credits will only be issued if an automaker can prove that E85, and not standard gasoline, is actually dumped into the tank of the vehicle. Good luck with that. Let's kick off the discussion up with a simple question: will flex-fuel vehicles live on despite disappearing CAFE credits? We've got our own hunch, but before throwing our ideas out there, we'd like to hear your thoughts.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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