Where Are The “Renewable Fuel” Cars?April 28, 2009
Flex-Fuel Car Is An Oxymoron
“Renewable Fuel” is definde as E85 in the federal RFS mandate, EISA 2007. So why doesn’t anyone make a “Renewable Fuel” car? All we have are these bastardized Flex-Fuel vehicles that try to live in two worlds and don’t do either very well. It all started out so car companies could get around the CAFE standards because flex-fuel vehicles had huge CAFE credits and big federal tax incentives, and when ethanol was $1 / gallon cheaper than gasoline, E85 was attractively priced even after your Yukon took a 30% mileage dive because it was just a regular gasoline engine with a big computer and bigger fuel injection rails.
Those days are gone. But the ethanol quotas in EISA 2007 are hard coded, in ever increasing amounts, year after year until 2022. The only way the ethanol is going to be used after about 2013 is if we have lots of cars that use E85. So why isn’t anyone working of the design of engines that can efficiently use just E85, an engine with the high compression ratio that E85 allows and a computer that can figure the timing for that fuel. If these engines were available for the car bodies people want, they should sell just as well as today’s cars that have engines that were never designed for ethanol.
Instead of raising the blending limit for non flex-fuel cars, why isn’t the ethanol industry demanding the solution that EISA 2007 was designed to do, E85 cars and the fuel delivery infrastructure to support them. God knows that they got an incredible number of tax incentives in EISA 2007 to do just that. So why are they putting their money on cramming E15 down our throats for cars and engines that were never designed for “Renewable Fuel”? With all the negative publicity, property damage, lawsuits and possible deaths when public safety devices that have engines that were never designed to run on ethanol blended gasoline fail, you would think that the ethanol industry would be working on getting E85 car engines designed and E85 fuel delivery infrastructure in place for them.