Why are all ethanol cars in the US beasts?

bemanix88bemanix88 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
Is there some reason why there are no FlexFuel cars in the US that are efficient to begin with? Looking through the list of cars on e85fuel.com, the smallest ones I could find were the 2.7L Chrysler Sebring and the luxury Mercedes C240, leaving a LOT of room for more efficient FlexFuel cars.

I don't understand why companies are offering this potentially revolutionary technology only in gas-guzzling vehicles. I mean, look at GM, who shows off its "Live Green Go Yellow" ad campaign with a massive Chevy Avalanche. If the Avalanche is rated for 14/18 on regular gasoline, what the heck can we expect on E85? Gallons per mile? In Brazil, you can buy small, efficient FlexFuel cars--why are the few E85 cars available in the US hulking beasts???

5.0L, 5000LB vehicles are NOT the path to energy independence, no matter what fuel they are burning.

Another somewhat related question, when will truly appealing FlexFuel cars arrive? Of course this is subjective, but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who won't subject themselves to the mundaneness of Ford Tauruses or the hugeness of Chevy Avalanches just to run on E85. We need FlexFuel cars that are sensible: small, inexpensive, fun-to-drive, efficient. Why have we started off ethanol in the US on such a bad foot?


  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    It's all politics man. GM is using their 5.3L V8 because it was easy to convert to a FFV. Say they build a Corolla that normally gets 30/38, with E85 it will get about 22/28 MPG. Add to that Ethanol is more expensive everywhere except in CORN country. The current high price is based on corn selling for $1.94 a bushel. What happens when farmers get a decent price for corn? Right today they cannot produce enough ethanol for the mandated E10 sold in most states. Toyota has already said they are not going to build a FFV. Their contribution is the Prius.
  • uniongodessuniongodess Member Posts: 2
    Ethanol started as a alternative fuel for farms where the corn are grown so US beasts they are.
  • gem069gem069 Member Posts: 65
    Ethanol started as a alternative fuel for farms where the corn are grown

    This is true but and the big auto companies also did flez fuel because of
    CAFE standards and with FlexFuel vehicules they got credit and helped their CAFE level.
    However, since gas has gone way up, people started to complain and the auto companies started thinking...... hummmm maybe since we have the proven technology in Brasil and it can be applied in the USA, we could do some ot that here? As has been stated by the CEO of GM.
  • lemminglemming Member Posts: 4
    Why Why Why indeed.
    I want an E85 car because I think that is all that is going to be available sometime in the near future. But I sure don't want atwo ton truck.

    My dream car right now would be a Prius that runs on E85 and
    electric. Solves the pollution problem at highway speeds.

    Right now the Chevrolet sellers are saying they don't have a flexfuel Impala just the Avalanche. The goyellow campaign is just a farce-a smokescreen . sigh

    Someone has to move this technology forward-the auto manufacturers or the oil companies like BP and Shell who talk it up but don't have the structure in place anywhere
    yet. :mad:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Right now the Chevrolet sellers are saying they don't have a flexfuel Impala just the Avalanche. The goyellow campaign is just a farce-a smokescreen . sigh

    It is GM's way of beating the system on selling big trucks and SUVs. Toyota uses the Prius and hybrids. They sell just enough to keep ahead of the CAFE fines. Getting a Prius or Camry hybrid is also not easy. Maybe you should order a Flex Fuel Impala. Probably get it faster than a Camry hybrid or Prius & for a better price.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Based on what I have read, an "ideal" car would be a diesel electric hybrid (which would run on bio diesel and dino diesel and blow E85 mileage figures and pollution figures and power figures and the associated economics away.)

    Even plain old Mercedes, BMW or Audi TD engines if put into all kinds of cars would make most folks wonder "why bother with E85?"
  • fushigifushigi Member Posts: 1,459
    It's been discussed in other areas on Edmunds/CarSpace that a diesel/electric hybrid isn't a viable solution as diesel's take too much energy to start and the constant stop/start of the ICE that happens in a hybrid just wouldn't work well or wouldn't be as efficient.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    This seems to contradict what I've read recently. Around the URBAN areas the pure electric motivation has many advantages and one of them is fuel efficiency.

    Even as one moves into suburban driving, electric motors are less efficient that diesel; and, once you move to higway driving both gasoline and diesel are far more efficient.

    What are the reasons that would work against diesel electric hybrids.

    This would seem to me -- in the face of better batteries -- to be an almost ideal solution.

    As usual, I could be wrong.
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    There is a "NEW" automotive fuel on the market that can replace gasoline directly. It is "Butanol", an alcohol compound with four carbon atoms. This could be better than "Ethanol", especially in the boating world, because it does not react with water. ;) :shades: :)
  • w9cww9cw Member Posts: 888
    One of the first FFV was the Ford Taurus, certainly not literally a beast by definition.
  • blkbr0thablkbr0tha Member Posts: 25
    Easy answer- it is all about $$$$. The auto climate for auto makers is not so good- esp domestics. Why not create your higher end GAS GUZZLING vehicles with hybrid capabilities. It makes the gov- and even those guilty minded SUV TANK owners feel better as well! lol Not to mention- the car mfr are selling their premier stock car at a very inflated rate! I was shocked to see that most of the E85 vehicles were trucks and SUV's as well- but makes perfect $$$ sense for the people that make the cars!!

    I dont make em- I just drive em :)
  • galongagalonga Member Posts: 50
    Theoretically, since ethanol comes from a plant that absorbed CO2 throughout its life, the fuel that comes from it may be carbon neutral.

    If that´s correct that means it doesn´t matter how much you burn: it is still carbon neutral.

    However, I agree it´s rather stupid to build a hog, when what they should be looking for is really green cars with better engines
  • eliaselias Member Posts: 2,209
    it's because of CAFE rules which allow the manufacturer to average-in each 10 mpg flex-fuel SUV as if it were a ~30 mpg car.
    (the worse the gas-mpg is, the better the CAFE payoff for making it E85-capable. )
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