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

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Comments

  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Toyota claimed they would sell 250k Prius in 2006.

    I wish that you'd reference your sources.

    Throughout much of 2005, the Prius was a car on waiting lists, which means that inventories would have been perhaps just a few days. Your own source indicated that Prius inventories are currently at 8 days.

    All of that means that Toyota would not have even had the capacity to deliver 250,000 to the US market during 2005. They would not have planned such a thing if they didn't have the factory capacity to build it.

    Unlike some of the Detroit automakers, TMC does an outstanding job of inventory management, so you can be assured that they would not have projected 250,000 units when they couldn't build anywhere near that amount.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    (didn't you firesale your 2005 VW diesel)?

    It was a hot seller for sure. Paid $26k and sold it 13 months later for $29k. I happen to buy just when the price of diesel went past gas prices. Being the knee jerk society that we are, people quit buying diesel cars in parts of the USA. Buy low and sell high. That has been my motto.

    the prices you are quoting for E85 are just false...I don't know what there is more to say about that. Please use facts

    I did not quote them. They are posted on a very PRO E85 website. Scan through this list. I am sure you will find something you like. None are priced to actually compete with unleaded regular, even with a 60 cent advantage it is still a loser fuel. E85 prices
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    I wish that you'd reference your sources.

    I did not say 2005. I was corrected. It was 250k Toyota hybrids for 2006. Not 250k Prius for 2006. So we have to see if they make their prediction. Toyota is currently holding back production on the Prius to use those parts for the very popular Camry Hybrid. Are you happy now?

    No one seems to know if Toyota will offer an E85 option on any of their hybrids. I thought you may know as you seem to be very pro TMC.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    No one seems to know if Toyota will offer an E85 option on any of their hybrids. I thought you may know as you seem to be very pro TMC.

    I'm not "pro Toyota", but I recognize that it is an extremely well managed company that serves its markets very well. That being said, most of their products generally leave me flat, and I don't own one.

    As for E85, as I've noted, Toyota is smart to promote hybrids, and to not tout E85. Why would it do this today, when doing so would give credibility to GM, and when it isn't now selling these cars itself?

    The last thing TMC wants to do is to hand a competitive benefit to General Motors, which has recently gone on the offensive to tout E85 in an effort to make itself appear innovative and green. If GM wants to build a market for itself, Toyota is not going to bankroll it.

    And don't kid yourself, TMC is developing FFV vehicles. As noted by this article in Edmunds, Toyota will have FFV cars in Brazil next year and in the US in 2008. They'll market those cars here when they have them here, not two years in advance when Ford and GM would be the ones to benefit.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    There will be diesels sold in America in 2007 -- DCX will be selling a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes will continue to offer the diesel E Class sedan, at least.

    And actually, there is certainty that VW is extending the Jetta model run to the end of this year to push the TDI supply of 2006 models into next spring. Beyond that, there is speculation that the 2008 models might show up earlier than expected, so the unavailabilty gap could potentially be much smaller than we are currently anticipating. VWoA is going to take a major hit without the diesels, and with Wolfgang Bernard running VWAG, one would assume that he understands and places importance on the American market.

    This whole "Americans don't like diesels" argument is silly. When gas was less than $2 per gallon, nobody in this country thought twice about miles per gallon. Since $3 per is turning out to be more permanent seeming now, the sales of midsize SUV's have fallen off a very large cliff that threatens both Ford and GM. As a result, saying that higher gas prices are not going to modify behavior seems very specious to me. And finally, from what they have released, Honda seems very much on board (new engine plant, new V6 diesel engine for the Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Pilot, and US emissions certification for the I4 currently sold in Europe). Honda is as mainstream America as they get...and I'd expect sales to follow accordingly.

    A British car site has the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD getting 51% better combined mileage than the JGC V8...that's pretty compelling stuff, if you ask me. I know I'd bet that Americans aren't nearly as stupid and inclined to prejudge as other posters here do...

    Of course, if EPA certification turns out to be hard or if gas goes back down to under $2 per gallon, this situation changes...
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    A British car site has the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD getting 51% better combined mileage than the JGC V8...that's pretty compelling stuff, if you ask me.

    It obviously hasn't been compelling to 97% of the American driving public. Diesels have always had these advantages, but it hasn't helped sales.

    You can call it "silly", but none of you have shared with us your great plan for getting Americans to change their habits. Had we had the internet during the seventies, I'm sure that we would have identical arguments on behalf of diesel, but those proved to be wrong, too.

    If the automakers agreed with you, they'd be doing a full push to put millions of diesels onto sales lots. At this point, they are treading forward very slowly, which tells you that they have a wait-and-see attitude about this mature technology with an image problem.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 263
    At this point, they are treading forward very slowly, which tells you that they have a wait-and-see attitude

    They've been taking a wait-and-see attitude for years now. Perhaps that's why both Ford and GM and so close to the precipice now. They will wait-and-see themselves straight into the abyss. Sometimes "wait-and-see" is just a euphemism for "ineptitude".
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > none of you have shared with us your great plan for getting Americans to change their habits

    That is the grim reality diesel supporters are very much in denial about. Even the domestic automakers aren't that stubborn. They recognize that lack of willingness to change... which is a strong reason for pushing ethanol.

    The switch to diesel won't gain the typical American driver all that much since the ones with automatic transmissions (which this population undeniably prefers) don't offer than big of a MPG gain, especially when dealing with daily stop & slow commute traffic. In fact, the benefit is pitiful compared to what a Prius using E10 (10% ethanol) delivers already. And the next generation is promising to deliver even higher efficiency.

    I've pushed them on many occasions, asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel. The response was the tranquil sound of crickets in a lonely field on a summer evening. In other words, nothing! They have no plan.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel.

    You act like we have any say in what gets past the EPA. It takes on average a couple years to get any new design past the EPA and NHTSA. As was pointed out in an earlier post, mileage was of little concern when gas was $2 per gallon. Same goes for the Hybrids. People are getting used to $3 gas. I don't think you will see much of an upward trend in hybrids. The Camry hybrid is getting all the glory for right now. The Prius is a slow seller this year compared to last year. The only Toyota car selling better this year than last is the Corolla. That indicates some concern about fuel economy. IN fact all the top 5 selling cars are doing better this year than last. All except the Camry. The Prius is not in the top 25 for May. The VW Jetta is out selling Prius. Mostly due to the Very Popular Jetta Diesel.

    As far as FFVs I doubt anyone would pay a nickel more to get a FFV over a conventional. That is all politics as usual.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Huh?

    What part of "your plan" don't you understand?

    Or is just making excuses it?

    JOHN
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    That is the grim reality diesel supporters are very much in denial about. Even the domestic automakers aren't that stubborn.

    Exactly. Diesel would not have saved GM and Ford from their current problems. After all, the successful automakers such as Toyota and Honda aren't selling them here, either, and those that do sell them sell very few.

    If the automakers wanted to sell diesels in the US, they would. These very same companies are selling diesels in other markets, so there is a reason why they don't bring them to the US...and no, it isn't because of CARB.

    They recognize that lack of willingness to change... which is a strong reason for pushing ethanol.

    That's where we differ. I don't see E85 making it either, unless there are subsidies, fuel tax adjustments and/or reductions in the cost of production that can make it cost effective.

    If the government mandated that all gas cars ran on E85, and then the price of the fuel was advantageous by whatever means, then consumers would use it. I doubt that would ever happen, but at least consumers could continue to buy cars that use gas, a fuel they obviously understand.

    I've pushed them on many occasions, asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel. The response was the tranquil sound of crickets in a lonely field on a summer evening. In other words, nothing! They have no plan.

    I think that it's silly to get wrapped up and absolutely devoted to a technology for its own sake. We need practical solutions, and practicality includes that people use it.

    Perhaps the changes need to be multi-pronged and incremental. If some combined use of ethanol in some cars, some degree of use of biodiesel in heavy trucks, some hybrids, and some drivers switching to more efficient cars led to an overall reduction in demand of perhaps 10-20%, that would actually have a significant impact. But again, I don't see the free market alone accomplishing this, I believe it will require additional incentives and mandates to make such a thing workable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    and no, it isn't because of CARB.

    I beg to differ. You cannot buy a new diesel car in CA or any of the wannabe states. The same cars pass all the EPA emissions even with crappy diesel, but CARB started phasing diesel cars out in 2000. They were completely banned 1/1/2004. The only way you can get a diesel car in CA is to buy one with 7500 miles on it. So if that is not CARB I would like to know who you think is blocking the sale of diesel cars in CA. It sure is not the dealers. They would love to be able to sell to the largest car market on the planet. It was probably well placed campaign contributions by the likes of Toyota. Made it easier to unload the Prius on folks that would like to get more miles per gallon of fuel. I doubt the Prius and subsequent hybrids would have sold half as many vehicles if they had a diesel option to compete against.

    Hybrids don't sell well at all in the EU where you can get a decent diesel car.

    Maybe you have some documentation that says that CARB will allow new diesel cars to be sold after 2004 in CA. You seem to know so much about diesel sales. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying a kid does not like ice cream when none is available.

    My documentation shows you have no clue about the popularity of the diesel cars, if offered.

    US Sales of VW Diesel Cars Climbed Sharply in April
    8 May 2006
    Bloomberg. Sales of Volkswagen cars with diesel engines reached a record 22% of VW’s total sales last month. VW posted sales of 20,528 units of all vehicles in the US in April, an 11.2% increase from April 2005.

    In April, the diesel versions accounted for 38% of 9,930 total Jetta purchases; 40% of 3,580 total New Beetle purchases


    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/05/us_sales_of_vw_.html
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    In April, the diesel versions accounted for 38% of 9,930 total Jetta purchases; 40% of 3,580 total New Beetle purchases

    Did you bother crunching the numbers on this one? That works out to be about 5,200 diesels. (And the other story there is that the Beetle is no longer selling very well, in any form.)

    That is not a lot of diesel cars. Based upon those numbers, Toyota is selling more hybrids than VW is selling diesels. It's odd that you see the higher Toyota sales as some indication of failure, while you hail the lower VW sales figures as some sort of Second Coming.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > That's where we differ. I don't see E85 making it either

    You missed the "they" reference. I have never endorsed an ethanol-alone solution, nor sighted E85 as an appropriate today choice.

    E20 is what makes the most sense.

    JOHN
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    All VW TDI's present and future are mated to a DSG automatic, which uses two electronically controlled clutches and returns better efficiency than a manual. Getting a DSG Jetta TDI right now is very, very difficult...

    Imagine that! Technological advances increasing the potential acceptance of a product! I don't think certain forum members think that is ever possible.... :)
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Technological advances increasing the potential acceptance of a product! I don't think certain forum members think that is ever possible....

    So, let's say that the use of diesel cars in the US triples from its current level. That would mean that 91% of cars would be running on something other than diesel.

    Is this 9% market share for diesel the revolution that you are talking about? Or do you know something that the industry experts don't which is going to achieve this massive breakthrough that you believe is going to happen?

    I don't see anyone but for a few diesel diehards who are making these lofty predictions. Obviously, the automakers don't see it, either.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    Obviously, the automakers don't see it, either.

    I think they do. Honda for example is working very hard to bring diesel to the USA. It is the only option that has gotten them accepted in the EU. They are not so blind, that they cannot see that 38% of the Jetta sales are diesel. VW USA sales are up and Honda and Toyota car sales are flat. Honda has not had great luck with hybrids. Even though Honda IMA is probably better for the long haul. The bottom line is whether you or the American driver accepts diesel or not, it is still the best fuel for conserving the world oil supply. Ethanol still requires massive amounts of fossil fuel to grow and process. The experts I find most knowledgeable say it is a negative gain of ethanol to fossil fuel used. The ethanol industry cannot keep up with the demand for ethanol as a replacement for MTBE. How would they jump up to producing enough corn for E20 or E85?

    Maybe the boat owners will file a class action suit against ADM & Verasun taking away all the fat profit they are making. Too bad they cannot sue Congressmen that vote for all the stupid mandates.

    Recently the Boat Owners Association of the United States issued a warning to owners of older, expensive boats, after numerous members reported ruined engines with “black gunk sludging their intake valves.” The culprit is E10 gasoline, the same thing we are now using in the Metroplex; it’s melting away parts of their fiberglass fuel tanks — and the resulting gunk is clogging their fuel filters and fuel lines and ultimately destroying some very expensive motors. That’s when it occurred to me: a whole lot of gas stations have fiberglass storage tanks.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > black gunk sludging their intake valves

    Ethanol is a natural cleanser. It will indeed dislodge junk that had already built up from from using dirty gas in the past.

    Once you get past that transission, the fuel lines remain clean... since the ethanol itself doesn't contain any sludge causing materials. It's just an alcohol. We've proven that here in Minnesota; every single gas vehicle has been using E10 since the 90's.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > All VW TDI's present and future are mated to a DSG automatic, which uses two electronically controlled clutches and returns better efficiency than a manual.

    Tell that to the guy hear that has been arguing that increased complexity is a very bad thing.

    Then tell us where the real-world data is. Let's see actual numbers.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    Tell that to the guy hear that has been arguing that increased complexity is a very bad thing.

    I thought you kept up on this stuff. DSG is smaller and less complex than a conventional auto transmission. Much less complex than the HSD system Toyota designed for their throwaway hybrids.

    DSG transmissions, the development of which has spearheaded by Volkswagen, are cheaper to produce and offer the driver a choice between an automatic mode or a more engaging clutchless shifting mode. DSGs are also lighter and fit easily into spaces engineered for a common manual transmission.

    I would imagine the DSG in conjunction with the diesel engine is the reason that the Jetta is out selling the Prius this year. The Jetta, a wonderful Drivers car. With the TDI DSG options you get an honest 49 MPG. All that and a comparably equipped Prius is about $2000 more than the Jetta TDI with DSG. Oh that includes the most important option in the Jetta, XM sat radio. The Jetta does not need a back up camera, you can see out the back.

    Oh and did I forget to add Volkswagen is the world leader in Ethanol cars for those that want less efficiency.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    Driving a DSG made me reconsider my MT goal for a bit...it is an amazing transmission.

    Wolfgang Bernard stated pretty recently that VW plans to use DSG as its only automatic within the next several years, which should give the brand a very appealing selling point to US consumers.

    I don't know about the DSG technology being available to other auto manufacturers yet, but more widespread adoption definitely affects the suitability of low HP diesels to markets that greatly prefer automatics like the US.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > With the TDI DSG options you get an honest 49 MPG.

    Again, where is the real-world data?

    JOHN
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Gagrice, you've argued throughout the thread that ethanol is bad because ADM is involved in it.

    Yet here's an article showing that ADM is developing two biodiesel plants in the US. And apparently, ADM is the largest producer of biodiesel in Germany.

    Since we are apparently supposed to make our policy decisions based upon whatever doesn't work for ADM, I guess biodiesel is going to have go, to. After all, if ADM is going to profit from the vegetable oil that goes into producing biodiesel, why would I want to have anything to do with it?
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    The diesel arguments are just the old "wait and see, but do nothing" attitude of many of the obstructionists for real change. That is why Ethanol is going great guns and Biodiesel for our truckers and farm equipment will be another solution (Diesel technology has been with us even longer than the gasoline engines -- but to a minor avail. I saw a small VW dealer in upstate New York have 6 diesel VWs that have sat on his lot for months...there is no pent-up demand for diesel autos right now. The problem is that the infrastructure to support diesel autos in repairs, fuel and legislation is totally missing or is statistically insignificant.

    Ethanol and E85 are being rolled out big time and any significant or rational arguments against ethanol have disappeared into the background noise and clutter of obstructionists and the inane arguments of a handful of irrational proponents who want to see American democracy fall and the opec cartel dictators win at any price. There is no price differential to buy an FFV or regular auto or pickup, so no decision has to be made. All autos/pickup trucks could be 100% FFV ready ASAP if necessary...they already are E10 ready!

    Ethanol has been selected (for better or worst) as one of our major tools to slow down or limit sharply our dependence upon foreign oil. ANWR and the gulf coast will ease those dependencies, new refineries, wind farms, natural gas exploration, nuclear energy and increased coal production will ease us into the next couple of decades.

    Lobbyists collecting millions from the obstructionists can block oil drilling, refineries, wind farms, and nuclear energy, but they CANNOT block Ethanol and, to some extent, Biodiesel raw supply from our American farmers or building Ethanol/Biodiesel manufacturing plant production...our American farmers hold the trump card on that one...that is why we sometimes hear such hysterical arguments as "...our pigs will suffer" (chuckle)" arguments. There will not be only one or two solutions in renewable fuels, but many, varying probably from state to state depending upon the state's location, its natural resources, and whether the state wants to join in the national plan.

    911 did happen, terrorism in the USA did happen (18 of 23 911 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia.) These anti-American oil cartel blackmailers from th middle east and south america only cause us to create increase our resolve to have American controlled renewable fuels to drive our national goals of alternate fuels. Fuels that right now are available for autos we are now driving and/or manufacturing, and eventually solutions for the 2nd quarter of the 21st Century and beyond.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    . . .I seem to have lost the reason that we don't embrace diesels (which certainly seems accurate) here.

    It is simplistic, but -- go into the local "auto mall" and try to find a diesel passenger car. Even going into the German dealerships (which elsewhere have many gas and diesel engined version from which to choose) generally turns up at most two cars from which to choose.

    As a an English (only) speaking person, I got on the UK configurators for Audi/VW, BMW and Mercedes -- wow. There are plenty of diesel engined cars currently manufactured and sold.

    Certifying them for the American market has been (according to the Washington DC based Diesel Technology Forum) difficult due to regulatory roadblocks. These roadblocks appear to be largely due to the fact that our diesel fuel is "dirty" compared to the diesel fuel offered "over there."

    Yet, just this month, clean diesel starting pumping here in Vaspucciland. Audi/VW and Mercedes have announced plans to increase the number of models of current cars imported here with diesels. These will be conventional looking models that are already selling well here in America.

    This importation of many diesel powered models, in and of itself, is NOT a sure thing for sales. However, with gasoline unlikely to remain as cheap as it is currently (in the long run, despite temporary price drops) and with the performance gains that can be attributed to diesel, well one would think there is at least a chance that diesel will spread in popularity.

    Recall not THAT long ago the introduction of Front Wheel Drive and mainstream adoption of turbo charging. As I recall FWD and forced induction were in response to "gas lines" in that FWD cars could be "packaged" in such a fashion as to be both less expensive to build and less expensive to fuel. Moreover, taking a relatively small displacement engine (normally aspriated) and attaching a passive blower (a turbocharger) to it almost gave the consumer a 6 cylinder's performance from a 4 cylinder and an 8 cylinder's performance from a 6. Of course, the high output 4 used MORE gas than a lower output 4, but still less than the 6 is was able to imitate.

    We went through a period of time where we had mostly RWD normally aspirated gas sucking cars to where we "all" drove FWD turbo charged less gas sucking cars.

    Indeed there was a period of time (years and years) where finding a RWD [American] car was very difficult (even from Cadillac.) When the Germans and the Japanese in mass form came to our shores, they too brought FWD, small displacement (and some turbo utilization) too.

    Qwazy Wabbit (as in VW Rabbit) comes to mind.

    Now, there is no way on this forum for me to correlate the switch from heavy RWD V8 powered cars to lighter FWD small engined cars that happened significantly starting in the 80's with a switch from gas to diesel.

    Indeed, I find it difficult to imagine that we can go from 0.26% light diesel penetration to 33.3% penetration (thereby eliminating our need for 1.4 million bbl of Middle-Eastern oil per day -- which is, practically speaking all of our imports from that region) despite the cost savings, performance gains, cleaner air and political/social desirability.

    I actually wonder if it would be possible to go from UNDER 1% to 5%, let alone 9% as has been discussed above by others.

    It doesn't change the desirability of the goal, however.

    It doesn't change the fact that Adam Smith's invisible hand has been given some impetus to move by our very own Congress in the Energy Act of 2005 (specifically pertaining to diesels, in fact.)

    It did seem that overnight (well not literally of course) we were able to change from cars that used leaded gas to undleaded, were heavy RWD V8's to lighter FWD non-V8's. Therefore I am encouraged to be optimistic that the adoption of diesel may surprise many of us to the positive.

    It didn't take an act of Congress to get us -- almost ALL of us -- to start driving FWD turbo charged cars.

    It may only take the trickle down effect of offering almost literally every Audi/VW, BMW and Mercedes model on the market today in both diesel and gasoline variants.

    This trickle down, using Europe as an example and coupled with the Energy Act of 2005 could demonstrate a possibility, remote as it may be, of having over 50% of our lux class cars sold as diesel and trickling down to over 20% of all cars.

    It is, for now, difficult to imagine and cope with the breadth and depth of change that would be required to make this happen. But it has happened elsewhere and it could have a huge positive impact on all of us.

    Finally, while I don't want to only report the good news, so to speak, I do think it would be helpful to get the story out about both E85 and diesel (both petrol and non petrol diesel.)

    This blog and many others may do for diesel what was done for Howard Dean (I know, I know, loose him the election) -- and by that I mean, raise awareness, raise money and get it (diesel, not Dean) noticed.

    Diesel suffers from decades of a bad reputation -- but that can be turned quicker than we think, if history and this wonderful tool (the Internet) are any guide. :shades:
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    A sampling of Hoosier ethanol users:
    • Name: Aaron Pierce, 17, Carmel, high school student. Drives: 2003 Chevy Tahoe.
    E85 user: Since May 2.


    • Why: "Not only does it burn cleaner, it is a fuel that literally comes from the backyards of many Americans."

    • Performance: "It seems like I burn 2-3 miles per gallon less than I would with gasoline (but) newer E85 engines get better mileage out of the fuel."

    •Patriotism: "If we all switch to E85 as our primary source of fuel, the United States will control production, refinement and distribution. I look at how rich the Middle Eastern counties got from oil and I see our potential with E85."

    • Name: Doug [non-permissible content removed], 40, Indianapolis, plumbing manager for Earl Gray & Sons.
    • Drives: 2005 GMC Yukon.
    • E85 user: Two years.


    • Why: "Engine lasts longer and stays cleaner, (uses) less oil use and prices were lower."

    • Performance: "When using regular gas I get 15 miles to the gallon city driving. With E85 I get 13 miles to the gallon. On the highway, there is very little difference. I have noticed that I seem to get a little more ‘get up and go’ with E85."

    • Patriotism: "We have made ourselves into slaves of foreign oil."

    • Name: Greg Cooper, 45, Carmel, real estate broker.
    • Drives: 2004 GMC Yukon.
    • E85 user: Two months.


    • Why: "Frankly, my initial impulse was paying back those who have been sticking it to us for a long time when it comes to oil."

    • Performance: "City mileage is slightly worse (but) highway actually is a little better."

    Patriotism: "This helps reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil."

    • Name: David Gray, 22, Fort Wayne, communications grad student at IPFW.
    • Drives: 2003 Ford Taurus.
    • E85 user: Two months.


    • Why: "It burns much cleaner than gas and helps our economy."

    • Performance: "I have heard horsepower improves with E85 due to higher octane levels, but I have not noticed."

    • Patriotism: "It helps create Indiana jobs at production facilities and get our nose out of the Middle East and South America."

    ETHANOL PRODUCTION POISED TO RISE

    Indiana has one ethanol plant in operation, New Energy Corp. in South Bend. But at least 12 others are either under construction or in the planning stages, including:
    • Putnam Ethanol, Cloverdale.
    • Cargill/Demeter, Linden.
    • Iroquois BioEnergy, Rensselaer.
    • Central Indiana Ethanol, Marion.
    • The Andersons, Clymers.
    • Rush Renewable Energy, Rushville.
    • Central States Enterprises Inc., Montpelier.
    • ASAlliances Biofuels LLC, Tipton.
    • Cardinal Ethanol, Harrisville.
    • Premier Ethanol LLC, Portland.
    • ASAlliances, Mount Vernon.
    • Advanced BioEnergy, Rochester.

    Source: Indiana Lieutenant governor’s office.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    It is simplistic, but -- go into the local "auto mall" and try to find a diesel passenger car. Even going into the German dealerships (which elsewhere have many gas and diesel engined version from which to choose) generally turns up at most two cars from which to choose.

    It's the same reason that your local dealership won't have pink-and-purple striped cars with green polka dots -- because almost nobody would want one.

    If the manufacturers don't offer a product, it's because nobody wants it, or else because they can't sell it for a high enough price to make a profit from it.

    Again -- you have automakers that sell diesels in other markets, yet either sell them here in very small quantities, or else don't sell them here at all. Ask yourself why that is, particularly in the case of the large makers such as Toyota that are extremely profitable and obviously quite savvy about what US customers want.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    While you may be right, we really don't know if there is much pent up demand (although several car companies, claim there is) because the diesels that could have been brought here essentially wouldn't "run right" on our dirty diesel.

    I do not think things will change overnight, but the advent of clean fuel just this month, 17 days ago in fact, may make the cars that wouldn't "run right" on our fuel, run "fine as wine" and that, plus the EAC of 2005's incentives may (I did NOT say "will") start the ball rolling.

    Only "issues of taste" are involved in the example of cars with the polka dots. Until June 1, 2006, we actually had practical issues working against the automakers.

    Now, not so much.

    We had, perhaps a more apt analogy, only AC electricity, yet there were "superior" DC cars out there, but the trouble in trying to find enough DC to run them on wasn't worth the effort or expense. Zap! Someone turned on the DC -- now, perhaps within the next 2 years, we may see a change.

    Of course, I would agree, there still won't be many cars sold with green polka dots diesel, ethanol, fuel-cell, gasoline, hybrid, nuclear or solar.

    But, even then, I could be wrong -- paisley came and went and came. :surprise:
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Until June 1, 2006, we actually had practical issues working against the automakers.

    I have seen no data that indicates that the primary issues have been with a lack of supply, rather than with a lack of demand. There has never been a period of time in recent US history when diesel was popular. If you outlawed diesel cars tomorrow, very few people would miss them or even care.

    Economics are largely demand driven, as producers can't produce things that people don't want and stay in business for very long.

    Diesel is obviously the fuel of choice for heavy trucks, so I don't see why biodiesel devotees simply don't look to it for leadership in spurring the transition to biodiesel. But that has quite a long way to go -- biodiesel production in the US is currently equivalent to about 5/100ths of one percent of the total US demand for diesel, so it's going to take a whole lot of vegetable oil to get us there.

    You could focus on serving the trucking industry without worrying about cars, and still prove out whether the business model makes sense. There isn't enough production capacity today for biodiesel to impact petroleum consumption, so how would expanding the pool of passenger cars do anything to alleviate the problem?
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    The irony of having a GMC Yukon driver talking about making ourselves into slaves of foreign oil is so very, very rich. A high school student that "needs" to drive a Chevy Tahoe is also priceless...

    :)
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