Running on Ethanol
The oil companies REALLY don't want you to know how ready your current car is for E85. Cars have been designed to be ethanol resistant since the early 90s. The cars that are currently on the road are suited for running E50 (50% gas, 50% ethanol) with NO modifications. I have been running ethanol in my 95 Toyota Celica GT for over 5000 miles. I have seen no problems and think that more people should be more aware of the benefits to using ethanol. E85 is simply a superior fuel to standard gasoline. It truly is 110 octane and SIGNIFICANTLY increases horsepower. I have also only seen a very slight decrease in average MPG which leads me to the conclusion that the combustion of ethanol is actually more efficient then the simple BTU comparison. Higher octane leads to much faster acceleration, which causes the car to reach cruising speed quicker. This means that the engine is able to idle sooner than it does running pure gasoline and idling uses less fuel. For cars with a manual transmission, like my car, drivers are able to take this a step further by shifting into neutral. I find myself coasting in neutral a lot. Also, ethanol performs better at highway speeds (80MPH+) and no reduction in fuel economy is noticeable. Ethanol is a reasonable option for the present, and any talk of flex fuel vehicles is just Detroit trying to get you to buy a new car that you don't need. I also can't believe that the car companies haven't made all their cars FFVs yet and say that they will reach this goal in a couple years. Running cars on ethanol is relatively simple to engineer and requires the fuel injectors run on a slightly different program that slows the timing of the injectors slightly. Why must it take years to program something so simple?