The Truth About Cars » Boondoggle The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:45:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Boondoggle Bio-Fuel Boondoggle Hits Europe, Kills Cars Wed, 29 Dec 2010 13:06:00 +0000

EU car owners will get a new kind of gasoline – whether they want it, or not. Most don’t want it. They get it anyway. While US-automakers sue to stop ethanol blends, an edict handed down from Brussels demands that Super has to contain 10 percent of ethanol. An alliance from Germany’s ADAC autoclub to Greenpeace says the new gasoline is a work of the devil, it is liable to ruin cars, and the environment.

The ADAC autoclub says that there are three million cars on Germany’s roads for which the new mix means certain death. “One fill-up is enough to do lasting damage to the engine,” said an ADAC spokesperson to Der Westen.

Environmentalists are also against it: “To fulfill the new quota, you need cultivated area the size of Belgium,” said Dietmar Oelliger of the Naturschutzbund Deutschland. “Converting forests and meadows into farmland creates significantly more CO2 than what will be saved later.”

Greenpeace calculated that the new edict will lead to 56 million tons of greenhouse gases. And they suspect that rain-forests will be uprooted to make room for the production of Brussels-mandated bio-fuel.

The Rhein-Zeitung is worried about something else: Money. The new “E10” fuel will probably cost more, and the car will use more, because the new fuel has a lower energy density.  Also, the fuel competes with other farm products. Says the Rhein-Zeitung: “Potato prices are going up, and even beer is supposed to get more expensive.”

This is where Germans usually draw the line.

Does everybody hate the stuff? No, the Verband der Deutschen Biokraftstoffindustrie loves it.

It’s the association of the German bio-fuel industry.

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E85 Boondoggle Of The Week: Blend Cap Decision Coming This Week Mon, 30 Nov 2009 21:30:00 +0000

The EPA is set to rule as soon as tomorrow on the so-called “blend cap,” which forbids the sale of gasoline with more than ten percent ethanol. The petition to raise the blend cap came from a relatively new pro-ethanol lobbying group, Growth Energy, which requested the cap be moved to fifteen percent ethanol. Growth Energy’s request cites foreign oil dependence, “green-collar jobs” and the future of cellulosic ethanol as reasons to bump the blend cap, but as the New York Times reports, the real problem is that the ten percent limit is bumping up against a congressional mandate to blend 15b gallons of biofuels with gasoline by 2012. What the Times fails to mention is the financial incentive for raising the blend cap: the 51 cent-per-gallon of ethanol blended tax credit. In 2007, when gas consumption was at an all-time high and ethanol blending mandates required a mere 4.7b gallons (with 7b actually blended), that credit cost taxpayers nearly $3b. In 2012, when the mandate hits 15b gallons, the taxpayer tab will be closer to $7.65b.

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers is warning that higher blends of ethanol will cut the lives of catalytic converters in half, while E85 (85 percent ethanol, used only by “flex-fuel” vehicles) is 31 cents per gallon more expensive than gas when its lower efficiency is factored in. The reality is that meeting blending mandates has simply become more difficult because they were legislated in 2007, when few saw reason to project downward trends in fuel consumption. As Americans struggle with economic downturn, and as the auto industry improves its fuel-efficient offerings, the ethanol blending mandates represent nothing more than a burden without meaningful reward. Here’s hoping the EPA stands strong on the ten percent limit, and the discussion moves towards limiting the public expense of the ethanol industry.

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