Flexible Fuel Vehicles: Providing a Renewable Fuel Choice
Today, almost 8 million vehicles on U.S. highways are flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). These vehicles can operate on gasoline or blends of gasoline and ethanol up to E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). As a renewable fuel, ethanol offers significant advantages. It is manufactured predominantly in the United States, made from homegrown feedstocks, and is cleaner burning than gasoline. An FFV, as its name implies, has the flexibility of running on more than one type of fuel. FFVs can be fueled with unleaded gasoline, E85, or any combination of the two. Like conventional gasoline vehicles, FFVs have a single fuel tank, fuel system, and engine. And they are available in a wide range of models such as sedans, pickups, and minivans. Light-duty FFVs are designed to operate with at least 15% gasoline in the fuel, mainly to ensure they start in cold weather. FFVs are equipped with modified components designed specifically to compatible with ethanol’s chemical properties. In the illustration on the back, the main modifications for FFVs are described. These seamless operation and a long useful life across a wide range of ethanol blends. Clean Cities posts a list of alternative fuel vehicles, including FFVs, on its Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) Web site at www.afdc.energy.gov. To find out about available models, go to the Vehicles section of the AFDC and use the Light-Duty Vehicle Search.
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