Flex Fuel Vehicles For Sale, FFV, e85, New & Used
What is flex fuel?
There are various fuel and energy alternatives to gasoline that are commonly known as flex fuels. The "flex" or flexible part is meant to describe a vehicle that is capable of running on more than one type of fuel, so it is probably more precise to refer to the fuels and alternative fuels. Fuel for our purposes is any material capable of combustion in an internal combustion engine. e85 is a flex fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. A vehicle is configured mechanically, electronically, in fuel delivery and timing specifically for e85.
Why consider alternative fuels? As the cost of a barrel of oil increases, so does the cost of each gallon of gasoline, and that means it costs us more to drive and it costs us more for everything else we buy that has to travel, no matter if it has come from half-way around the globe or just from the other side of town. As we have seen, some of this increase in cost is due to market forces (competition (or lack of competition), supply, government regulation, taxes, etc), but much of the time, the increase is due purely to speculation.
What does flex fuel mean? The term Alternative Fuels has specific meaning as defined by the 1992 Energy Policy Act.
1992 Energy Policy Alternative Flex Fuels:
- Alcohols; Methanol, Ethanol e85 (denatured) and other alcohols
- 85% or higher blends of alcohols and 15% or less of gasoline (or other fuels)
- Natural Gas (and other liquids fuels that can be produced from domestic sources of Natural Gas)
- Propane (LPG - liquefied petroleum gas)
- Liquid fuels produced from coal
- Other fuels (not alcohol) produced from biological processes
- P-Series fuels
Flex Fuel Vehicles and Energy Independence
If you and I had a contract that required you to park a truck-load of gasoline at my front door 3 months from today, how confident would you be that civil unrest in Saudi Arabia would not effect your profits? Remember, we have already agreed on the price. So every time there is some kind of crisis in the middle east, the cost of oil goes up because of the future contracts yet to be signed and fulfilled.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), 28% of U.S. energy needs are for transportation and 94% of that energy comes from petroleum. The other 6% comes from Natural Gas and Renewable energy sources (3% each). They also claim that a net 24% of U.S. energy needs were imported during 2009. This is a decrease from 2007 which was 29%. Much of this decrease has been due to the economic recession, and not due to the use of alternative fuels and conservation measures.
DOE also reports that during 2009, 9,013,000 barrels of crude oil per day were imported into the U.S. and that 5,361,000 barrels of crude oil were produced per day for a total of 14,374,000 barrels of crude oil per day (63% from imports, 37% from domestic production).
So if 94% of the energy needed for transportation in the U.S. is from petroleum and 63% of petroleum is imported, then 59% or 8,512,283 barrels per day were imported for transportation in the U.S. in 2009. If these numbers seem fantastically unbelievable, think about it this way; a barrel of oil is 42 gallons, so total gallons divided by approximately 308 million people in the U.S. at 2.59 people per household, is about 3 gallons per household per day that is imported. So if our goal is to replace the energy we buy from foreign sources, 3 gallons per household per day doesn't seem like an impossible task.
Obviously all the fuel used for transportation is not used by families in personal their cars. Fuel is used for all types of transportation (airplanes, cars, buses, trucks and trains) as the stores are stocked and mail, packages and products are delivered. It even takes fuel to transport crude oil to refineries and deliver gasoline to gas stations. But any options we have for flex fuel sources helps reduce dependence on foreign oil, and if these sources were dependable, it will also help reduce the total cost of energy.
Flex Fuel Gas Stations - U.S. Dept of Energy Alternative Fuel Station Locator