GM’s domestic market with E85 FFVs has been limited to the big boys: trucks and SUVs. But they’ve been “dabbling” if you will with what may be their next generation. Saab sedans.
Category Archives: E85
It was only a matter of time. For those who like their existing car but want to run E85, here is a major part of your solution: a conversion kit.
According to their press release Abcesso is now making their Ethanol FFV conversion kit available in the US. Be warned, however, that there are additional concerns.
In addition to the fuel management systems, you will want to ascertain the fuel system component’s ability to handle higher concentrations of ethanol. While all US cars sold in the last couple decades are able to support up to E20 (20% ethanol/80% gasoline mixture) throughout the system, E85 may not be safe for the tank and fuel lines. Check with the manufacturer and a knowledgeable mechanic as to what your vehicle’s system uses for these components.
Even for vehicles that are built with ethanol friendly componentry, you still want to exercise restraint. Sludge builds up in the bottom of gasoline tanks. Ethanol mixtures will tend to clean them out. If you have a car with say 30,000 miles on it, you’ve got a good deposit of sludge. If you switch to E85 without cleaning the tank out, you’ll flush a large portion of that gunk into the engine.
Your options here are to have the tank cleaned (or do it yourself, it generally isn’t complicated) , or to gradually increase your ethanol usage. For example, run 10% for a month and gradually increase the percentage each time you fill the tank. Try to keep the tank at half or more, the lower you go the higher the concentration of sludge that will come out. You want a nice, easy transition.
The European Shell Eco-marathon for 2006 came to a close a couple months ago. Taking top place in distance travelled for energy used was an ethanol powered vehicle, beating out the Hydrogen ones. It also beat them out in terms of GHG emissions.
And nobody but nobody can rightly claim the Hydrogen powered vehicles were just immature or inefficient:
“While most hydrogen engines use around 95% of their fuel efficiently, the Danish engineers have developed new technology, which allows 100% of theydrogen to be used in the fuel cell. “
The top 5 played outwith Ethanol in first and fifth, with Hydrogen filling the gap.
Clearly there is nothing inherently inefficient about Ethanol. Especially compared to gasoline.
In his recent article Seth makes the assertion that Global Warming suffers bad PR due to choices about it’s name as well as it’s lack of immediate impact. I suggest it has an even larger set of problems.
It is an interesting question. And many of you are wondering what pipe I’ve partaken of in asking it. How can broadband save the environment and money? I ran across an older Real Estate related article on the demand for broadband broken up by categories of use. And I mean an old one, 2002 I believe it was. In it there was an assertion that 17% of broadband demand was for telework – working from home. See, there are the light bulbs.
Let us just run a few quick, back of the envelope calculations. Assume that 15 of that 17% could/would work from home at least 75% of the time. That would mean that using March of 2005’s daily gasoline usage in the US (yes I know about Diesel, but they are fewer. Yes I also know about E85 – much more so than many reading this!) of about 320,500,000 gal/day we could use 24,037,500 less gallons, about 7.5% (assuming I did that right 😉 ). Figuring 20 gallons of oil is roughly a barrel (bbl) of oil, that would be a direct reduction of about 1.2 Million bbl/day (again all general BOTE). We import about 10Mbbl/day. Not too shabby.
To put that into perspective, that is roughly half of our Persian Gulf imports.