Logikal Blog

Thoughts and words from Roland Hughes

June 10, 2012

The Fastest Way to Boost E-85 Consumption

Quite honestly I get tired of hearing government officials spout about how we need to cut our dependency on foreign oil and boost renewable fuels consumption. I get tired of hearing about it because all they ever do is reach up their ass to the elbow and pull out a “target.” They then expect everybody to “just do it.”

I’m also quite pissed about the automobile company bail out. Yes, I’d say I’m even more pissed about that than the bank bail out and I’m well past flash point on the bank bail out. What sends me over the edge is that our government didn’t pass a blanket law along with the bail out. The blanket law is a very simple one.

The lowest priced automobile sold by any car company in America must come standard with an E-85 engine and the option to swap it out must significantly increase the cost.

That’s it! That one law would not only boost E-85 consumption dramatically, it would finally get the engineers what they need. What is it the engineers need? Enough E-85 engines in the field to solve the power and mileage problems while increasing durability.

Why would it dramatically increase E-85 consumption? People who buy the cheapest car on the market from any given vendor tend to buy the cheapest “gas” they can find. Between the tax/blender credit and the fact efficient plants can produce tank grade hooch for around $2/gallon, E-85 is always cheaper than $3+/gallon gas.

Yes, many people bitch and moan about lack of mileage, loss of power, etc. with E-85 engines. That’s because the engineers aren’t trying to build an actual E-85 engine, they are trying to bolt junk onto an existing gas engine and “get by.” We went through this in the 70s when car companies were forced to adhere to admission standards across the board, not to mention unleaded fuel. Every car company in America tried the cheapest hack they could to “get by” the regulations. There are very few post catalytic converter cars from the 70s anyone raves about. Most people usually try to get a 60s power train in them or something newer. The 70s was an era of half assed mediocrity when it came to power trains.

Once the automobile manufacturers found out they couldn’t bribe their way out of the regulations, they let the engineers work on actually solving the problem. Towards the end of the 80s we finally had some cars which had both power and high mileage. In particular I remember my 1990 Eagle Premier ES Ltd. getting 26MPG when I set the cruise to 55MPG and used the cheapest gasohol I could find.

We need the same government push for E-85 consumption. Nobody should be against this because it won’t cost the tax payer anything. We already bailed most of these companies out. If GM and Ford won’t step up to the plate, you can bet Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai will. The simple truth is that you cannot be certain how well an engine will hold up over all until you have several hundred thousand of them on the road and some have been pushed past 500,000 miles. Make it a law that the bottom priced car for every vehicle badge sold in this country come standard with an E-85 engine and we will get that done.