Flex Fuel Vehicles

Looking for alternative energy vehicles, or how about hybrid cars? Do you like the idea of green cars? … not too keen on electric cars, but are open to other options?

A flexible fuel car or a dual fuel vehicle is a vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine that is designed to run on more than one kind of fuel. Modern Flex Fuel Vehicles as they are known colloquially, are usually designed to be powered a mixture of gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol.

The mixture of both fuels is generally stored in one fuel tank. The modern flex fuel engine is capable of burning any proportion of the mixture inside its combustion chamber because timing and fuel injection are automatically adjusted by a microprocessor when it detects the actual blend through electronic sensors.

Flex Fuel Cars / Different than Bi-Fuel Vehicles

Flex fuel cars are different from bi-fuel vehicles that store different fuels in different tanks. A bi-fuel vehicle might be powered by both liquefied petroleum gas or LPG and hydrogen and it has different tanks for both kinds of fuel and the engine uses one fuel at a time.

Flex Fuel Cars / The Most Common Type

The most common kind of flex fuel car available in the market today is the ethanol flex fuel car. Brazil, the United States, Canada, and Europe have more than 17 million flex fuel cars on the road today.  There have also been successful test programs of a methano lcar known as M85 flex fuel vehicles.

M85 flex fuel cars are designed to run on a methanol gasoline blend of up to 85 percent methanol. The present state of technology allows ethanol flex fuel cars to run on mixtures ranging from 100 percent gasoline to 100 percent ethanol most North American and European flex fuel cars are designed to run on a blend of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent anhydrous ethanol called E85 fuel.

Flex Fuel Cars / Are They For You?

Production of flex fuel cars started in the 1980’s and a wide variety of models are now available. Except for some minor fuel system and engine modifications they are identical to gasoline only models. Flex fuel cars look just like gasoline only models so your vehicle may be a flex fuel vehicle without you knowing about it.

To find out if your vehicle is a flex fuel car look inside your fuel filler door for and identification sticker or check the owner’s manual. There is no loss of performance for flex fuel cars when running on E85 but since ethanol contains less calories for the same volume than gasoline there is usually 20-30 percent less miles per gallon when running on E85.
Sources

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/flextech.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible-fuel_vehicle
http://www.autotropolis.com/car-buying-guide/green-cars-guide/list-of-2010-flex-fuel-vehicles.html

For more information on alternative energy vehicles follow these links:

What is a Hybrid Car

Who Makes Hybrid Cars

Who Makes Electric Cars

Top Green Cars

Honda Insight Reviews

Smart For Two

GEM Electric Car

ZENN Electric Car

Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

GMC Savana Van

Hummer H3 Reviews

BMW Hydrogen 7

Alternative Energy Vehicles/More You Need to Know

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