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Alt-Fuelers Make Big Gains

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Green is growing, according to new data released today by marketing analysts at R.L. Polk.

Polk says that according to its numbers, sales of alternative-fuel automobiles (AFAs) hit a record in 2007. Close to 1.8 million were sold in 2007, a 250,000-unit increase from 2006, according to R.L. Polk’s figures. Automakers hope to deliver over 2 million AFAs in 2008, which shouldn’t be hard with more than 70 different models available.

However, in a release put out today, Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is worried that “refueling infrastructure challenges may prevent the promise of these vehicles from being fully realized.” McCurdy said that there are over 170,000 gas stations in the U.S. but less than 1,500 of them ethanol. This is an unfortunate number in light of the rising popularity of E85 capable and flexible fuel vehicles, he says.

Automakers are not ready to quit working for better fuel economy and cleaner emissions anytime soon, he adds. McCurdy spent last year supporting a nationwide increase in standards that will increase fuel economy by 40 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by year 2020.
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Comments (3)
  1. YES!.
     
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  2. On a recent drive across the corn belt, I saw E85 for about $2.469 per gallon (versus $3.199 for "regular" gas). I've read that E85 cuts your mileage by about 23%, but if the price is about 20% cheaper I would definitely opt for E85 versus gasoline. I'd rather buy ethanol from a farmer in Iowa versus an oilman from the Middle East. I'm even willing to pay somewhat of a price penalty for the privilege to buy local.

    (I'm especially looking forward to biomass and/or cellulosic ethanol). The infrastructure for biomass/cellulosic ethanol will be so distributed that it would be nearly impossible for Big Oil to control it.
     
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  3. GM 's sudden stewardship of the environment is simply a way to continue to make gas guzzlers thanks to E85 an extremely inefficient fuel. The CAFE standards call for all car companies to acheive an average MPG for all vehicles. I believe the most recent number is 33 MPG. Well if you make the biggest money off of 10 miles per gallon SUV's you would hate to say good bye to them wouldn't you?
    The CAFE standards has a loophole, that being that an E85 vehicle operating on E85 miles per gallon are ONLY figured against the actual amount of gasoline in the blend (15%) if you divide 100% fuel by 15% gasoline you get the multipler to the mpg (666) therefore a gas guzzling 10 MPG SUV is given credit for 66.6 MPG. If you sell one SUV like this you can have 3 vehicles only acheiving 24 MPG and this gas guzzling SUV and you average more than 34 MPG overall.
    GM is not the only one taking advantage of this free ride Ford and Chrysler are too. The big three are heading down the toilet and this is just their hands clinging to the rim.
     
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