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  #26  
Old 07-09-2006
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Actually, Aaron, it's the other way around: 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline.

And therein lies the rub: the marketplace for E85 is so spotty, there are remarkably few places to get it, even in highly populated areas like the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area (which I'm on the edge of).

You MIGHT be able to run conventional cars on a mixture the other way around, in terms of the injection and combustion and all -- I'm just not sure at what threshold the ethanol becomes excessively corrosive and dissolving.
Currently Gasoline Manufacturers are running up to 10% ethanol by volume in every gas on the market. They do this to reduce smog and price Ethanol (pure) is fairly cheap per gallon so they add this up to the limit to reduce cost and meet emissions requirements. The typical threshold in regards to ethanol is about 20% but even that much can have long term detrimental effects.

In regards to the question of half milage and same cost. This is wrong... The actual results are the following:

Ethanol currently is running anywhere from $.20 to $.90 cheaper per gallon then gasoline. This in conjunction with the 5%-15% loss in efiiciency from running etahnol(varies based on vehicles tested) will result in the following costs per mile

Assuming Gasoline at $3.00 per gallon and a normal mpg of 25
Standard Gasoline = $0.12 per mile
Avg E85 cost @ 5% efficiency loss = $0.103 per mile
Avg E85 cost @15% efficiency loss = $0.115 per mile
This will save you anywhere from $0.017-$0.005 per mile on average
With a maximum savings of $0.032 per mile and a minimum being actually a loss of $0.012 per mile (only If you have a 15% loss in efficiency and are buying the ethanol for $0.020 less per gallon than regular unleaded).

Your gains will be much larger if you have poorer gas mileage to begin with
Assuming Gasoline at $3.00 per gallon and a normal mpg of 10
Standard Gasoline = $0.30 per mile
Avg E85 cost @ 5% efficiency loss = $0.258 per mile
Avg E85 cost @15% efficiency loss = $0.288 per mile
This will save you anywhere from $0.042-$0.012 per mile on average
With a maximum savings of $0.079 per mile and a minimum being actually a loss of $0.029 per mile (only If you have a 15% loss in efficiency and are buying the ethanol for $0.020 less per gallon than regular unleaded).

All of the above figures are based off of testing on Flex Fuel Vehicles. If you were to custom tune a vehicle to run exclusively on Ethanol or E85 you could theoretically get better gains due to the vehicle not having to compromise when working with either fuel.

If theoretically gasoline hits $5.00 per gallon your savings could go up to $0.053 per mile while running E85 (assuming 25mpg), and as much as $0.132 per gallon (assuming 10mpg).

The interesting part of all of this is that assuming $1000 to switch a vehicle over to running E85 (which seems to be about how much it should cost [correct me if I am wrong] to swtich over to E85 capable) it would take 35,714 miles on average to recoup your investment at @25mpg on gasoline, but only 14,285 @10mpg on gasoline. Even 35,000 miles is not a long time in regards to return on investment, esp considering that most studies are showing that your average hybrid (read as toyota prius) will not be likely to recoup the investment until 8-9 years assuming you never have a battery replacement needed. Not to say that I do not like the idea of hybrids, but the premium neccesary to purchase a Prius in todays market outweighs the benefits gained.

Some interesting news in hybrids is a new trend within GM to produce low cost hybrids that have decent gains in mileage without the enormous cost increas of the competition. http://www.hybridcars.com/saturn-vue-hybrid.html This vehicle is estimated to save anywhere from 20%-30% which means that it will recoup the additional cost in around 30-40k miles assuming todays gas prices.

So now all we need is a hybrid E85 capable Ranger.

http://www.saturn.com
http://www.cleanairchoice.org/outdoor/PriceForum.asp
http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/hott.../ethanol_2.htm

(edit)sorry about how long that was (/edit)
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  #27  
Old 07-09-2006
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thats good info ben... if i ever spot an e85 station im gunna fill up just to see what its like, so far the only place that has e85 here is a nasa reaserach center thats next to my brothers work but i dont think theyd like me taking any....
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  #28  
Old 07-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4X2XLT
thats good info ben... if i ever spot an e85 station im gunna fill up just to see what its like, so far the only place that has e85 here is a nasa reaserach center thats next to my brothers work but i dont think theyd like me taking any....
There is a station about 15-20 miles out side Akron and then one that is in Medin (I think thats close to Akron)

Full Circle Fuels
141 South Main Street
Oberlin, OH 44074
440-574-5436

Town & Country Co-op
241 South State Road
Medina, OH 44256
330-723-3208

This site has the listing of the stations in any state that has one.
http://www.e85fuel.com/database/sear...9baa6bd908e4bc
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  #29  
Old 07-11-2006
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hmm i never noticed that... i bike in medina so im gunna have to see how close it is to the place i go....

edit: heh its about half a mile down the street from where i go, so wer gunna have to see how this stuff works...
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  #30  
Old 07-12-2006
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
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Please let us know how it works out. I have been wanting to run E85 in my wifes truck, but unfortunately for all of us Californians our state doesnt like to actually reduce oil use or more clean burning fuels. We just like to claim we are eco friendly (CA is a load of c*** in this regard).
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  #31  
Old 07-12-2006
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Well My real world experiance, a 2001 ford taurus with a 3.0 Flex fuel averaged 30 MPG on redular 87 oct gas with 10% ethanol. Was lucky to get 11 MPG on E85. so using that gas would have to be three time the price of gasoline to break even. This was the case with my mother's car, my friend tweaks taurus. so It is fairly consistant. I have never driven a ranger on it because I refuse to get less than a 4.0.

I think E85 has it's place and is a stepping stone towards the future, but it is by no means the answer. I think the answer is a combination of Biodiesel and hybrids, maybe ethanol. Could you imagine the wonders that would happen with the automobile if we invested in Biodiesel technology. We would make everybody happy, The farmers, the enviro-****'s, the patriots, the libs (If that is possible) and people like me who want to tell the Arabs to go and pound sand. There are alot of people who say it can't be done, but if you are reading this you are sitting at an invention that was in it's infantsy less than 20 years ago, can you imagine what it's going to be like in the next couple decades?

~HJ
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