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Old 03-06-2008, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Mile High City
10,266 posts, read 10,790,924 times
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Default How many people are using E85 gas??

My bf has the flex fuel new Avalanche and just filled up yesterday at $2.55 a gallon. Regular unleaded was $3.20. Truck runs awesome on it. So you save money, environment and your car loves it!
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:44 AM
 
Location: CLT native
4,282 posts, read 6,901,841 times
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But you get less mileages, quite a bit in our company Suburban at least.
Makes it a wash regarding cost in my experience.
Ours is a 2007, maybe the 2008s are different?

Car & Driver has tested this several times as well, with E85 delivering about 75% the mileage of petrol.
In corn country (midwest) E85 cost significantly less as it is not driven to local distributors and stations.
Obviously here in CLT it is higher due to transportation cost.

Last edited by mullman; 03-06-2008 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Mile High City
10,266 posts, read 10,790,924 times
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I think the mileage was the same or even better if I can recall.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,116 posts, read 41,593,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himain View Post
My bf has the flex fuel new Avalanche and just filled up yesterday at $2.55 a gallon. Regular unleaded was $3.20. Truck runs awesome on it. So you save money, environment and your car loves it!
I use it, but not for every fill-up. I have not found it at that price point around here, tho! Where the heck did you find it for $2.55/gal? I buy mine at a gas station off Johnson Dr near the Lowe's in S. CLT.

Start up can be sluggish, I have noticed, in cold weather. And I do get less mileage per gallon of E85.

I specifically bought an SUV that has flex fuel option, thinking it was the responsible thing to do. But I was told recently it was really not improving my carbon footprint to use E85. I was devastated. I thought I was being socially responsible, consuming biofuel and reducing my dependency on foreign oil products.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: CLT native
4,282 posts, read 6,901,841 times
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E85 is a short term solution, and not a very good one.
A few months ago National Geographic nearly devoted an entire issue to alternative fuels with E85 at the very bottom of efficiency. Not to mention as corn demand rises, so does the cost beef and milk (as dairy farms must spend more to buy corn feed). It is a two edged sword.

Besides is a E85 Suburban or hybrid SUV really the answer?

Get a smaller car (which I plan to once my lease it up, I currently get 20/30, but want better), car pool, or commute on two wheels (my fav, I do this often, it is FUN)
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,116 posts, read 41,593,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
E85 is a short term solution, and not a very good one.
A few months ago National Geographic nearly devoted an entire issue to alternative fuels with E85 at the very bottom of efficiency. Not to mention as corn demand rises, so does the cost beef and milk (as dairy farms must spend more to buy corn feed). It is a two edged sword.

Besides is a E85 Suburban or hybrid SUV really the answer?

Get a smaller car (which I plan to once my lease it up, I currently get 20/30, but want better), car pool, or commute on two wheels (my fav, I do this often, it is FUN)
I agree, Mullman. I used to drive VW beetles when I was younger - went through 5 of them!

We need the SUV to transport stuff so that is why we have it.

Part of the solution is smaller cars, especially for commuting. Until most people are willing to switch to small vehicles, tho, I have mixed feelings about being on the road in a very small car.

My son was commuting to his summer job in uptown CLT, in his new Ford Focus hatchback (whatever they are called) and the dump truck in front of him stopped suddenly to avoid the car in front of him . . . my son stopped inches from the back end of the dump truck, but the Hummer behind him crushed the back end of his Focus and pushed the front end under the dump truck.

I bought him a Jeep wrangler and installed a wench on the front. He has been hit twice but no damage to his Jeep. The other cars sustained damage, tho, from his bumpers. I am going to make sure he is in something that won't get crushed this time. The Jeep gets lousy gas mileage. What is a mother to do?

I would drive a mini Cooper but worry about getting smacked by one of the big vehicles in an accident. Instead, I have a 17 year old Benz that is made like a tank. Gas mileage is pretty good . . . and I only have 129,000 miles on it . . . as I consolidate errands and work at home so no commute.

Bottom line: I am afraid to buy a small vehicle, even tho I enjoyed my VW Beetles. In Europe, everyone drives cars that are small so even if you get hit, it is not like a tank plowed over you.

Am I the only person who finds all of this a dilemma? Gas mileage, alternative fuel, size of vehicle, and being a socially responsible person? What is a person to do?
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:25 AM
 
55 posts, read 98,711 times
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Agree, E85 Suburban is almost an oxymoron. E85 is a very poor solution as there are many other solutions that would use fuel that could be produced cheaper, burn cleaner, provide better mileage, be easier on engines, and be produced here in the US. (There have been some viable solutions around for years) Some solutions would require slightly different engine make ups in our cars. The auto manufactures do not want this to happen for many reasons and neither do the oil companies. And if you look at the clout possessed by those two industries, it will be a while before real solutions are here.

The E85 solution is actually an attempt to take advantage of consumers wanting to feel eco-friendly (successful marketing ploy), in my opinion. I don't mean that negatively against anyone that owns them, I fault the automotive industry.

FWIW, I had an internship with a government agency, back 10 years ago during the middle of my college years, that was doing a huge project that involved converting things like garbage (after filtering certain things out) and mulch or compost into ethanol. This was a very large project as we had a small fully equipped plant that was run on more than one occasion while I was there. It was a very interesting process and was successful. The project ended a few years ago as they moved on to research something else. My point is, the science is there to convert waste to certain types of fuel.

Sorry for the long post...



Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
E85 is a short term solution, and not a very good one.
A few months ago National Geographic nearly devoted an entire issue to alternative fuels with E85 at the very bottom of efficiency. Not to mention as corn demand rises, so does the cost beef and milk (as dairy farms must spend more to buy corn feed). It is a two edged sword.

Besides is a E85 Suburban or hybrid SUV really the answer?

Get a smaller car (which I plan to once my lease it up, I currently get 20/30, but want better), car pool, or commute on two wheels (my fav, I do this often, it is FUN)
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
21,808 posts, read 38,282,069 times
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Ethanol is not a great solution as alternative fuel.

Corn is a commodity just like oil is and part of the reason corn base products at the grocery store prices are up.

I rather pay more at the pump than at the grocery store.

Think about the products you buy that have corn syrup as an ingredient or use corn to feed the animals like pigs.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,116 posts, read 41,593,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyKayak View Post
Ethanol is not a great solution as alternative fuel.

Corn is a commodity just like oil is and part of the reason corn base products at the grocery store prices are up.

I rather pay more at the pump than at the grocery store.

Think about the products you buy that have corn syrup as an ingredient or use corn to feed the animals like pigs.
What you say makes total sense. I thought I was being responsible and eco-friendly and doing the right thing (w/in the framwork of driving an SUV). Of course, Auditor is right - an SUV on E85 is an oxymoron of sorts, LOL!!!

But I still need a big vehicle to move large items. It is a dilemma. I like what Auditor said about other fuel sources.

Why isn't someone pouring the money into developing alternative fuels, other than corn-based? I thought they have alternative fuel in South America? Made from beets maybe???
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 5,364,921 times
Reputation: 1848
Quote:
Originally Posted by himain View Post
My bf has the flex fuel new Avalanche and just filled up yesterday at $2.55 a gallon. Regular unleaded was $3.20. Truck runs awesome on it. So you save money, environment and your car loves it!
I'd use E85, if it were available here in Ak, if I could buy it at that lower price...just to save money. That's the "pro". Now the "con": ethanol is not available in all states.
And...I don't know about "cars loving it"...ethanol is way more corrosive to auto parts than gas, and it produces considerably less mpg. Also, several studies show it is NOT as friendly to the environment as originally believed: it takes nearly as much energy to produce, as what it gives out, and is driving up the cost of food as well. Heavy groundwater use, for corn irrigation, (to make ethanol) is drying up the aquafer in many parts of our croplands. Many cities have already begun water rationing. And we have only begun...the politicos want to increase ethanol production 3-fold by the year 2020...
I don't believe ethanol is the answer...yes, it's an alternative, but it's not the answer. It just doesn't have enough "positives" going for it. I'd be looking at hydrogen instead. Technology for hydrogen isn't fully developed yet, but it would surely be the ultimate "green" fuel...it produces ONLY water upon combustion...and nothing else...
My $.02

Bud
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