Information on Fuel Blends and the current strategy

Blending relatively low levels of alternative fuels with conventional fuels is an important option for reducing petroleum use and an important strategy in the Clean Cities Program portfolio.

Examples of blends include E10 (10% ethanol/90% gasoline), B5 (5% biodiesel/95% diesel), and B2 (2% biodiesel/98% diesel). Blends can also consist of two types of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen and compressed natural gas (HCNG), which might be a combination of 20% hydrogen and 80% CNG, for example. Many coalition stakeholders use blended fuels in their fleet vehicles.

Blending low levels of alternative fuels with conventional fuels is an important option for reducing petroleum
consumption. Clean Cities supports the use of ethanol and biodiesel fuel blends (such as E10, B2, B5, and blends of hydrogen and natural gas). Program strategies to promote fuel blends include:

  • Training coordinators on the benefits of blends and teaching them how to determine which blends make sense locally or regionally.
  • Encouraging coalitions to develop outreach plans to educate heavy-duty fleets about the fuel blend benefits.
  • Working with state and local governments to explore opportunities to expand mandates and other programs for increasing fuel blend use.
  • Forming partnerships to establish fuel standards for blends.

Clean Cities also plans to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Initiative to fill gaps in regional assessments of feedstock availability and identify opportunities for enhanced production.

Brazil selling Ethanol cars in the US soon

Compact cars from brazil that can run on 100% ethanol, e100, may soon be arriving in the U.S.

Automotoveiculos S.A says it is "close to securing medium and long-term project financing" to build 50,000 Obvio compacts every year. Zap, the California company that distributes electric and compact gas automobiles, purchased the autos and reportedly has arranged for a $700 million to finance the idea. Zap says it will have Obvios available by the end of 2007.

People may be a slightly skeptical because normal companies wait until a deal is finished before sending out press releases. Also, in 2005, Anuvu received an $11 million contract from Zap for fuel cells for hydrogen cars, but that order never materialized, and Anuvu is no longer around.

GM Says Hybrids Were Pushed for Public Relations and Politics

With all the problems faced by GM, one would assume they wouldn’t go ahead and shoot themself’s in the foot with this.

Last week, the struggling automotive giant General Motors admitted with a surprisingly candid admission: They apparently created Hybrid vehicles for the sole purpose of improving public relations and perception.

The unusual statement was given by the company’s vice chairman, Bob Lutz. "Hybrids are technologically of doubtful benefit, and expensive, but necessary from a political and public relations point of view," remarked Lutz.

"The reduction in fuel consumption does not pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle." Nonetheless, the company is attempting to do what it can to help turn the tide in what is undoubtedly viewed as a desperate financial situation.

Lutz’s other comments consisted of…

"Toyota has said, economically, hybrids make no sense. The reduction in fuel [consumption] does not pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle so therefore economically it remains fairly nonsensical, so that’s the left-brain analytical argument.

The right brain is it’s the popular thing to do, many people believe that if we all drove hybrids the world would suddenly get cooler again and then it’s the patriotic thing to do because if you drive a hybrid you will no longer be funding the Arab terrorists, and so forth.

So, with all those beliefs out there, you have to do a hybrid for public policy reasons."

Lutz believes hybrids are just not cost effective. But then again, GM should consider why they have lost billions of dollars in the past few years.