Are Flex Fuel Vehicles the Wave of the Future?

The Lowdown on Flex Fuel Vehicles

Flex fuel — the term has been being tossed around quite a bit lately. But what exactly does flex fuel mean? Is it a concrete solution to our current gas prices or is it a technology that’s far off in the future? If you don’t know what flex fuel is, you’re not alone. There are masses of consumers who have little to no knowledge of flex fuel technology. And if you think you understand everything there is to know about flex fuel, you might be surprised at what you don’t know.

What is Flex Fuel?

Flex fuel vehicles are automobiles that can run on either gasoline or E85 (a mixture of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol). Ethanol is a fuel that is produced from the alcohol of plant sugars and is a renewable resource whereas gasoline derives from oil and is not renewable. When a car has flex fuel technology, it has a sensor that adjusts the ratio of the ethanol and gasoline ratios and some parts of the fuel system are modified in order to be compatible with ethanol.

Flex fuel vehicles are not a far-off futuristic dream. In fact there are literally millions of flex fuel vehicles already on the road and there are a number of new car models being advertised as having flex fuel capabilities. Your car may be a flex fuel vehicle and you might not even know it since not all flex fuel vehicles sold are advertised as being flex fuel vehicles.

Why the Change?

Many people have high hopes that flex fuel vehicles will put a stop to outrageous gas prices and fail to realize that E85 costs about the same as regular gasoline. Since there really is no difference in price between the two fuel types, cost shouldn’t be the main factor in your decision whether to opt for a vehicle just because it has flex fuel capabilities.

However, even though lower fuel costs aren’t really a benefit of flex fuel vehicles that run on E85, there are indeed many benefits to E85 usage. First and foremost is the fact that E85 is a renewable resource, so for those of you who don’t like the rate at which we’re consuming gasoline E85 should put a smile on your face.

Another benefit of vehicles that run on E85 is the fact that E85 burns cleaner than gasoline so flex fuel vehicles may cause less pollution. Add that to the fact that using E85 can contribute to farmers receiving a higher value for the corn they grow and you soon come to the conclusion that flex fuel vehicles are much more friendly to the environment than their gas-guzzling counterparts.