The Truth About Cars » flex-fuel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:28:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (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 » flex-fuel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Study Says: EV Drivers Coddled, Flex Fuel Cars Discriminated Against http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/study-says-ev-drivers-coddled-flex-fuel-cars-discriminated-against/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/study-says-ev-drivers-coddled-flex-fuel-cars-discriminated-against/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2011 17:18:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=422022

So what is all this talk about flex fuel being shoved down our the throats of our cars, and EVs driving up Xanax sales due to rampant range anxiety? Bloomberg brings us astounding news:

“Public charging stations for electric autos outnumber outlets for alternative motor fuels by almost two to one, even though there are hundreds of times more flex- fuel vehicles than plug-in cars on U.S. roads. “

Bloomies says that the approximately 16,500 highway-worthy electric vehicles in the U.S. have a choice of 4,448 public charging stations, not counting the ones at home or at work. Bloomberg bases this on U.S. Energy Department data.

STATE B20 CNG E85 ELEC* HY LNG LPG Totals
Alaska 0 1 0 0 0 0 8 9
Alabama 6 11 20 4 0 1 106 148
Arkansas 5 6 20 11 0 0 49 91
Arizona 14 30 32 41 1 1 67 186
California 46 224 58 1262 23 34 227 1874
Colorado 14 29 83 30 1 0 52 209
Connecticut 3 14 0 39 2 1 16 75
Dist. of Columbia 2 2 3 35 0 0 0 42
Delaware 3 1 1 0 0 0 3 8
Florida 15 14 61 256 0 0 71 417
Georgia 25 17 51 33 0 0 57 183
Hawaii 8 0 1 50 1 0 3 63
Iowa 3 0 163 21 0 0 21 208
Idaho 9 8 8 19 0 0 29 73
Illinois 8 26 219 152 1 0 71 477
Indiana 4 9 153 9 0 0 51 226
Kansas 6 4 40 13 0 0 38 101
Kentucky 4 1 28 0 0 0 42 75
Louisiana 2 9 2 12 0 0 22 47
Massachusetts 7 20 4 45 1 0 21 98
Maryland 7 6 20 148 0 0 17 198
Maine 3 1 0 0 0 0 7 11
Michigan 16 16 121 336 4 0 65 558
Minnesota 3 2 363 63 0 0 38 469
Missouri 4 9 105 34 1 0 68 221
Mississippi 3 1 2 6 0 0 39 51
Montana 6 2 2 0 0 0 53 63
North Carolina 142 21 28 122 0 0 63 376
North Dakota 2 2 68 0 1 0 18 91
Nebraska 2 3 69 0 0 0 19 93
New Hampshire 5 4 0 15 0 0 12 36
New Jersey 3 22 4 70 0 0 10 109
New Mexico 6 10 11 6 0 0 53 86
Nevada 5 11 23 19 2 0 41 101
New York 24 103 82 214 9 0 34 466
Ohio 21 15 75 35 1 0 65 212
Oklahoma 6 63 15 0 0 0 56 140
Oregon 26 12 9 312 0 0 32 391
Pennsylvania 8 29 34 26 2 0 69 168
Rhode Island 2 5 0 2 0 0 6 15
South Carolina 30 5 100 82 2 0 27 246
South Dakota 1 0 102 0 0 0 17 120
Tennessee 44 6 45 122 0 0 74 291
Texas 14 35 57 297 1 5 490 899
Utah 5 72 4 11 0 1 29 122
Virginia 12 11 14 77 1 0 56 171
Vermont 1 3 0 8 1 0 5 18
Washington 32 15 19 365 0 0 67 498
Wisconsin 1 17 141 40 0 0 48 247
West Virginia 0 1 3 6 1 0 9 20
Wyoming 13 8 5 0 0 0 22 48
Totals By Fuel: 631 936 2468 4448 56 43 2563 11145

Doing the math, Bloomberg comes to the conclusion that this is one station per 3.7 electric cars. The 7.6 million alcoholic cars, the ones that can run on E85, get a raw deal. They have only 2,468 places to fill up if they want to fulfill their ethanol cravings. If they don’t find a station that serves booze, they have to go on the wagon and drink traditional gasoline.

Nevertheless, says Bloomberg, the Obama administration is pushing for even more charging stations, and puts $230 million of support from the Energy Department and private investment. behind it:

 “Ecototality received funds under the federal program to install 14,000 chargers in 18 metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia.”

A flex fuel car will be on the pump for 5 minutes max, but even a quick charge to “top off” an electric car can take two to three hours, leading most drivers to charge at home or work, claims Brett Smith, co-director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). He thinks those public charging stations might get lonely.

Brian Wynne, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, on the other hand calls the number of charging stations available today “a good start.”

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Take A Chance On E(85) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/take-a-chance-on-e85/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/take-a-chance-on-e85/#comments Mon, 25 Oct 2010 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=369951

You’ve heard the old joke about ham and eggs, right? The chicken is involved, and the pig is committed? Well, I’m going to give ethanol a shot for a while and report the details to all of you. I’m involved, and my Town Car is committed.

There are three E85 stations within five miles of my house. Two of them are operated by the Kroger grocery chain. E85 pricing is perhaps the one thing in America more subject to political and economic meddling than gasoline pricing, but it’s currently at a point where it could make sense to run it.

To find out for myself, I’ve run my 2009 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited down to below “E” and refueled with E85. On October 24, 2010, E85 was priced at $2.29 locally for me, compared to $2.79 for 87 octane gas. My Town Car reports 21.4 miles per gallon in mixed-use driving, usually running between 75 and 85 on the freeway and with about five surface street miles for every fifteen ones on the Interstate.

I estimate that I need to average 17.8 mpg in order for E85 to “balance out” under these conditions. I’m scheduled to drive about 600 miles in the next seven days, so on Monday I will come back and tell you how I did.

No, this isn’t particularly scientific, and it ignores the other potential costs of E85 — wear on the engine, fuel system damage, food prices in Zimbabwe, and so on — but it’s a start.

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Meanwhile, Back At The Farm: Ford Promises Flex-Fuel Bumper Crop http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/meanwhile-back-at-the-farm-ford-promises-flex-fuel-bumper-crop/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/meanwhile-back-at-the-farm-ford-promises-flex-fuel-bumper-crop/#comments Wed, 05 May 2010 13:43:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=355338

As TTAC readers well know: There is a huge E85 flex-fuel loophole in the new federal fuel economy CAFE standards. Ford will drive right through that barn door-sized hole.

By the end of this year, Ford wants to deliver 370,000 flex fuel vehicles, a number which they can trade against fuel oinkers. Let’s review:  A flex-fuel vehicle is one that is capable of running on E-85. But it doesn’t have to. It can also run on straight gas. Or on any mixture of the two fuels. As long as it’s E85 capable, it counts at least for a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha at the DC CAFE.

At the 2010 BIO International Convention in Chicago, Sue Cischke, Ford’s group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering said that “Ethanol and other biofuels help reduce the county’s dependence on imported oil.”

She even had stats to prove it: More ethanol is now produced and used in the U.S. than the amount of gasoline made from oil imported to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined. Now there’s food for thought …

Ford is ready to expand flexible-fuel vehicle output to 50 percent of total 2012 model year vehicle production. Under one condition, says Ford:

“Assuming incentives continue to encourage the manufacturing, distribution and availability of renewable fuels as well as the production of flexible fuel vehicles.”

So CAFE credits aren’t incentive enough?

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