The art of great timing
Despite having to pay more at the gas station, I love testing full-size pickup trucks. Inside these big vehicles, particularly with 4WD, I often feel invincible. But the guilt of burning as much non-renewable fuel manages to creep its way back in my mind. That's why I was happy to hear that Ford introduced a new variant of their best-selling truck powered by a Flex-Fuel (E85) 5.4L V8 engine. The timing would be perfect if oil companies offered this alternative fuel with 85 % ethanol...
|This pickup truck can run on E85 fuel.|
At a time when governments are forced to listen more carefully to the requests of well-intentioned environmentalists, automakers have no other choice but to react to this pressure, knowing that a government wishing for re-election will likely submit to popular demands. With the medias focusing on the Kyoto protocol rather than on the dark side, especially the dangers to the economy (don't give me that look...), automakers are now offering alternative solutions.
The Flex-Fuel engine, which can run on a mix of gasoline and ethanol, is one of those. What's the difference? Nothing. I mean, while E85 engines can solve our dependence on a non-renewable resource, emerging ethanol production and distribution infrastructures don't suffice to meet demand. Consequently, I went to the gas station the other day and filled my "special" F-150 with... regular gas. The avenues of ethanol
Before purchasing an E85-compatible vehicle, people will want to know what it's good for. We hear more and more about it on TV; renewable, alternative energy sources are "in". It's not the ideal solution, however, as ethanol production is in itself creating pollution. You have to understand that ethanol is a new answer to a supply problem and not to a toxic emission problem. Oil reserves will dry out some day and we will need to feed our combustion engines with something else.
|Ethanol has also a dark side.|