Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Live Green, Go Yellow???

Posted by jab12004 on March 19, 2009

Recently legislation was introduced  that would require 50% of new vehicles in the U.S. to be Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) by 2012.  Flex Fuel vehicles are basically normal cars with stock modifications which allow them to run on E85.  FFV models usually cost between $30 and $300 more than their standard counterparts.

The laughable part is that most FFV’s don’t use E85.  Part of this is due to the lack of E85 stations out there and that it is really only easy to come by in those states which produce corn ethanol.  Nationally, only 1% of filling stations sell E85. 

However, the icing on the FFV cake is that 70% of FFV owners don’t even KNOW that they can use E85.  The same General Motors sponsored study also found that only 10% used any E85 at all .   This has prompted them to launch the “Live Green, Go Yellow” campaign, which, besides making me chuckle to myself a few times, probably won’t make me buy a FFV based on this commercial.

Laughing aside, there are a few serious issues having to do with FFVs.  Most of the 7 million FFVs on the road are there due to loopholes credits  in CAFE standards.  Also, as we move forward with the RFS, we will need something to burn the 36 billion gallons of ethanol in 2022.  Maybe having 50% of the fleet as FFVs will help us correct that blunder attain that target…



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