Friday, June 08, 2007

The E85 Road Test

What happens when you actually are able to find a gas station that sells E85 and decide to try a tank in your vehicle? My friend did this last week, and here's his story.

The E85 Road Test

We do the sorta scientific test.

By Chris Haak


A friend of mine bought a 2007 Chevy Avalanche LTZ a few weeks ago. He really likes his new truck, and doesn’t even complain about its gas mileage. According to him, it’s very comfortable (it has leather, XM radio, plenty of room inside, and enough room for everything that his family needs when they travel) and fits his needs perfectly.

He’s owned his truck for a few weeks, and after hearing all of the hype about E85 in the media (thanks to GM and Congress, mostly, plus the President’s push for alternative fuels to reduce our dependence on imported oil), he decided to try to fill up his flex fuel-capable Avalanche with a tank of E85, which is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. (Normal “gasoline” is up to 10% ethanol for air pollution reduction purposes, or E10).

In case you’ve been asleep for the past few years, allow me to introduce you to ethanol. Ethanol sold in the US is distilled primarily from corn, which is something the US is able to grow a lot of. There are a few problems with using ethanol as a motor vehicle fuel: diverting corn crops to be used in fuel production instead of food production causes corn prices to rise; there is also controversy about the amount of energy required to create ethanol from corn, and a lack of availability of gas stations selling E85.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A blog of an E85 test from an impartial consumer: