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Will ethanol E85 catch on in the US? Will we Live Green and Go Yellow?

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,676
    Hybrids do NOT use E85

    Never said that they do.

    The midwest solution is here now,

    It isn't the solution, it could be part of the temporary fix that will see us through to the solution (whatever that may be) but it isn't the solution.

    Walmart here in Cedar Rapids and other Iowa cities sell a 10% Ethanol mix on ALL octane ratings on all pumps.

    They sell it because its a federal mandate, supposively for cleaner air. It does two things, first it make their political contributors (companies like ADM) rich, secondly it makes them look like they are doing something to make the air cleaner.

    4 Billion gallons of Ethanol is already being manufactured this year in some 140 factories.

    which is just 2.5% of what we would need if we were using E85 in all our vehicles.

    As an aside, I feel so sad for my former state of New York, both senators, including the Arkansas hillbilly, refuse to push for Ethanol...

    Well maybe Hillary isn't so bad, FWIW shes an IL suburbanite (while we don't like to admit it she went to the same high school I went to). Anyway if the government has to push ethanol usage it means that market forces aren't. If market forces are not pushing ethanol then its not economically feesable. I say let the market decide.

    Please do not say Hybrid and E85 the same breath, one is a Rube Goldberg adaptation and the other is the E85 practical solution.

    Why not? Why cant you put an E85 engine in a hybrid? It would be no different than a regular hybrid other than the engine could use E-85.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    Dumb small farmers are a thing of the past, being paid to not work on government welfare. Smart farmers are the future, whether small or large. Corn for ethanol production brings a 10 cent a bushel premium. There are many small farmers and small farmer coops in the midwest. the boondoggle are the politicians and their oil-fired political action committees, such as the NYS senators.

    We had to crawl before we can walk and we are now beyond the crawling stage where Ethanol is being used...NOT to use Saudi oil. It is an alternate fuel for the Midwest and the East/South. My dad was a small farmer from upstate New York and this holds promise for all small farmers. The scam is not being fostered on the country...the scam is being done by the Jihads and terrorists.

    Paying $2.00 or less a gallon for E85 is dramatic progress. Politicians bought with corn and ethanol money are a heck of a lot better politicians than those bought with Saudi money (by the way, politicians are a factor of American democracy and always have been).

    At least Ethanol and Biodiesel create an alternative fuels that can be used to help dramatically heighten energy independence. Thus Ethanol and Biodiesel plus opening up Alaska oil operations and continental shelf drilling will help the USA become energy independent.

    There has to be better ways and answers that satisfy the majority of Americans...remember, majority rules without bothering the minority.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Ethanol and Biodiesel plus opening up Alaska oil operations and continental shelf drilling will help the USA become energy independent.

    I think we are closer on this than I first suspected. I am for alternatives to oil. I don't believe we will ever be oil independent. We can take a bite out of the imports. For ethanol to be practical it has to be processed close to the market. This last energy bill with the kneejerk mandate for ethanol to replace MTBE is directly raising the price of gasoline across the nation. When you have to truck millions of gallons of ethanol to the West Coast it is no wonder that we are paying $3.35 for unleaded gas. Biodiesel is a viable alternative to diesel. It also has limitations that have to be considered when switching from fossil diesel.

    We are also on the same page agreeing that we have the best Congress money can buy. I don't think you would be quite so exuberant about ethanol if you were getting the ethanol shaft as we in CA are.

    Dumb small farmers are a thing of the past, being paid to not work on government welfare.

    Owning a small MN farm and having several friends that actually live off of their farms, I find your harsh assessment incorrect. I do not know of a one that lives off of government welfare. Especially not to the extent of what we give to mega farmers and corporate giants like ADM. All the farmers I know have small to medium dairy farms. They work 365 days a year to produce enough milk to survive.

    We have price controls on milk in CA because all the small dairy farmers were run out of business by big operators. Then they tried to rip off the public. It looks like we will see the same thing happen with ethanol.
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    E85 will have to sell for 75% of unleaded regular to break even.

    E85 is now starting to sell for 85 cents a gallon less than regular gasoline, about $2.00 or less a gallon. At least the Hybrid Rube Goldberg designed excess costs are not going to impact the Ethanol market, what a disaster in the making. Remember that Hybrids were brought to market only to maximize additional auto manufacturers profits. These troublesome vehicles have been with us long enough to make the over $5,000 battery pack replacement a very nervous time for owners.

    Minnesota now leads E85 pumps with Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois not far behind. With the additional 400,000 GM mostly and small number of Ford vehicles coming on line, E85 is becoming a part of the Midwest energy scene. ...one E85 pump in southern California? I am surprised because Ethanol is not a viable product for California. Water is too valuable a commodity in the dessert environment than to grow corn, switch grass or whatever is the new product for Ethanol...seems like energy independence will be a regional solution.

    "As an aside, an experimental usage of tight bundles of common ordinary grass to fire an electric generating plant that normally uses other sources of energy is being evaluated in Southern Iowa. Initial results are very encouraging...hmmm, grass for electricity too! At least the midwest is looking for solutions, not screeching and whining and throwing temper tantrums as politicians are wont to do!"

    E85 (Ethanol) is not he end all to beat all, but a viable (here now) alternative to Osama Bib Laden's energy policy. There will be more alternatives for different regions of the United States, one size does not fit all.
    It may affect population shifts in the USA, after all, we cannot make the dessert bloom forever using high priced energy.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    one E85 pump in southern California?

    RTC is owned by Pearson Ford. They have been a leader in alternative transportation and fuels. I checked a couple days ago and they are now selling E85 for $2.99 vs unleaded at $3.35. I have no idea how many vehicles they serve. It may be for fleet services.
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    The East coast solution to Ethanol is ready for execution...however, the politicians are dragging their feet a bit in permitting Ethanol plants. Seems that there are a number of pols who cannot understand what Ethanol is, gee, we elect some sorry vacuums.

    ADM and agriculture in general are solving the MTBF debacle. Ramping up will take time. However, ADM and other companies are owned by average Joe stockholders who expect a profit from their investment...and they don't have to worry about dry holes in the ground. It is a viable solution whose time is now, for how long we do not know. At least the average auto can use ethanol, not like the huge price premium on the Rube Goldberg hybrids that nobody can repair...their teething problems are downright legendary.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Seems that there are a number of pols who cannot understand what Ethanol is

    They do know what it is and that is why they are dragging their feet. Just suppose they allow the permits to build a still in a given location. Do you recall the hassle in St Paul with an ethanol plant there? They STINK to high heaven. Also many of the new ethanol plants on the drawing board are using coal as an energy source. That adds more STINK to the location. I would rather have a nuclear facility on my farm than an ethanol plant any day of the week. I don't think you are assessing this whole ethanol situation realistically. Or you own a huge chunk of ADM.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    Well maybe Hillary isn't so bad, FWIW shes an IL suburbanite (while we don't like to admit it she went to the same high school I went to).

    Now, now, SW. Hiliary's a homegirl, give her a break ;) - I had to get you on that one.

    Arkansas (I mean WalMart-land) isn't that bad. Besides WalMarts on every corner it's given us the hangin' judge from Ft. Smith, White Water scandal...well, maybe it is bad :P
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,676
    Now, now, SW. Hiliary's a homegirl, give her a break

    Can't give her a break, she turned traitor on us and started attending Maine South, why anyone in their right mind would want to go to Maine South High School is beyond me.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

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  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    The biggest obstacle to transistioning to E85 and biodiesel it getting the lay public to understand their usefulness, and trust them as reliable consumer products. The audience that posts here doesn't qualify as "lay public" when it comes to cars. We are enthusiasts, and as such have a deeper background (both good and bad) to build on.
    NASCAR's popularity is growing fast, it would be a huge deal in terms of ligitimizing E 85 as a viable alternative fuel source to the general public.
    Oh and GO Jeff GO! Been a fan since the "rainbow warrior" days.
    Tony Stewart should be banned!
    Let the insults come.
  • gem069gem069 Posts: 65
    The biggest obstacle to transistioning to E85 and biodiesel it getting the lay public to understand their usefulness

    Now if, E85 becomes available enough and is cheaper than reg gas, for some unknown reason the public will find it.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    say we got E85 and a whole bunch of FFV engines coming on line, the question is: are we still gonna be driving big suvs with one person on board and f150's hauling nothing but air?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    are we still gonna be driving big suvs with one person on board

    That is what is being offered in FFV. There are no 4 cylinder vehicles set up to use E85 as of today. The smallest 6 cylinder is from Chrysler. It gets a combined 17 MPG burning E85. Not much incentive to go E85 unless you want a GM PU or SUV. The Lincoln Town Car V8 gets 18 MPG Hwy, that is close to the Chrysler Sebring with its 2.7L FFV engine. Toyota is the only Japanese company claiming to offer an E85 vehicle sometime in the future. It will be interesting to see how theirs stacks up mileage wise.

    Another big downside to E85. Range is cut by a third. So you have to find an elusive E85 station much more often.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,676
    There are no 4 cylinder vehicles set up to use E85 as of today.

    A few years ago Isuzu and GM had 4 banger FFV's

    Toyota is the only Japanese company claiming to offer an E85 vehicle sometime in the future. It will be interesting to see how theirs stacks up mileage wise.

    Along with Isuzu, Nissan and Mazda both offered FFV's a few years back, as did MB. As with the Big three these cars suffered about 25% loss in mileage using E85 (per the EPA estiments).

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    A lot of E85 FFV have come and gone. Kind of like CNG. It is such a niche market that the auto makers probably do not want to bother. I think most GM & Fords are sold to fleet buyers. I don't think you could buy one here in CA. They can keep them in the Midwest as far as I am concerned. I would not own one. I can tell you the same thing happened in the 1980s. We started to push ethanol and the price of oil dropped like a hot potato. Until the Middle Eastern oil is close to depletion they are not going to let some corn burners cut into their profits. Watch how loyal E85 advocates are when gas is 2 bucks and ethanol is $3. Their green stripe will turn to yellow.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,676
    I would not own one.

    Why not? They are Flex Fuel Vehicles which means they can run on E85 or pure gas or anything in between. If you burn gas there is no real difference from a engine thats just gas only. It just gives you the option of using E85.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Why not?

    That is a reasonable question. I am protesting the damage that raising that much corn will cause. I am protesting the fact that ethanol is a corrosive that will undoubtedly shorten the life of our engines. I am protesting the fact that it takes almost as much fossil fuel to make ethanol as you get out. When you consider the loss of energy it may be more than you get back. I am protesting the E7 mandate that was not scientifically implemented. We could very well have another MTBE mess on our hands. Sure the Midwest loves it as it brings dollars from all parts of the USA into their pockets. It was only a couple years ago that the city of St. Paul, MN was suing the Ethanol industry for polluting their air. I guess ADM money shut them up.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    I believe it is a net energy LOSS of 9 gallon per barrel to make ethanol.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,676
    I have seen studies that show it takes .4 gallons of fuel to make a gallon of ethanol and I have seen studies that say 1.4 gallons and I have seen studies in between.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

This discussion has been closed.