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Ethanol E85, Disappoints September 3, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Enviroment, Technology.

ConsumerReports.org – Ethanol E85, alternative fuels, flexible-fuel vehicles
When running on E85 there was no significant change in acceleration. Fuel economy, however, dropped across the board. In highway driving, gas mileage decreased from 21 to 15 mpg; in city driving, it dropped from 9 to 7 mpg.

You could expect a similar decrease in gas mileage in any current FFV. That’s because ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline: 75,670 British thermal units per gallon instead of 115,400, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The FFV surge is being motivated by generous fuel-economy credits that auto-makers get for every FFV they build, even if it never runs on E85. This allows them to pump out more gas-guzzling large SUVs and pickups, which is resulting in the consumption of many times more gallons of gasoline than E85 now replaces.


1. Charles Young - September 11, 2006

We in the US drive what we drive. No need to fight that fight right now. If you suggest, as I do, moving to alternative, and more importantly, bio-based fuels, now is the time. Pick-up and SUV buyers aren’t concerned about fuel mileage (obviously) when making their purchase decision. So, why the the CR concern?

However, I observed this past weekend that motorist will line up and wait for four and five vehicles deep for “cheap gas”. E85 offers lower emissions, lower prices, support for our rural economies, and fuel from the US, not the middle east.

An article in National Defense Magazine noted that we borrow money from China to buy oil from the middle east, so we can protect ourselves from threats from exactly these two entities. Sort of a Rube Goldberg Economy. Isn’t it?

As the great philosopher/musician Duane Allman once said, “it’s evolution, not revolution.” Time will tell if our vehicle preferences change

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