E85 and Flex Fuel Questions & Answers

Q: What if E85 is not available?

The flex fuel vehicle system allows drivers to use any combination of gasoline or ethanol - from 100% unleaded gasoline up to 85% ethanol. If E85 is not available, you can therefore use unleaded gas.

Q: What is the difference between an flex fuel vehicle and a regular gasoline-only vehicle? Do they use different parts?

A flex fuel vehicle has only one major additional part - the fuel sensor that detects the ethanol/gasoline mix. Other parts on a flex fuel vehicles fuel delivery system are modified slightly to be compatible with a high level of ethanol. These include the fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel injectors, computer system, anti-siphon device, and dashboard gauges. Since high levels of alcohol are corrosive, any parts that come in contact with the fuel have been upgraded to tolerate the alcohol. Normally, this will mean a stainless steel fuel tank and Teflon-lined fuel hoses.

Do You Own a Flex Fuel Vehicle?

What is a Flex Fuel Vehicle? It's a car or truck capable of burning alternative fuels. We're talking about gas engines that can also burn ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, methanol, and p-series fuels.

Ethanol is alcohol-based and is made by fermenting and distilling corn, barley, or wheat. It can also be made from "cellulosic biomass", such as chunks of trees and grass, except that this version is called "Bioethanol" instead of plain "Ethanol".

More Minnesota State Vehicles Filling Up With E85 Fuel

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More Minnesota state employees are heeding Governor Pawlenty's call to reduce petroleum fuel consumption and use cleaner-burning alternative fuels like E85 in state vehicles whenever possible. According to a new report from the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee, E85 use in the state fleet during the first three quarters of 2008 is 55 percent greater than during the same period in 2007. In the first nine months of 2008, 529,000 gallons of E85 were used to fuel the state's roughly 1,700 flexible fuel vehicles. Last year at this point, only 295,000 gallons of the locally-produced, largely renewable fuel had been used.

DOE Selects Six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants for Federal Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that DOE will invest up to $385 million for six biorefinery projects over the next four years.

When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.  This production will help further President Bush’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012 and, along with increased automobile fuel efficiency, reduce America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years.

Drivers Should Consider Flex Fuel Vehicles and Use E85

Johnston, IA, January 3, 2006 - Iowans who want to save fuel costs should consider driving a flexible fuel vehicle and buying E85 fuel.

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