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Ford First to Offer E85 Hybrid

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Ford First to Offer E85 Hybrid

Jefferson City, MO – Ford Motor Company today announced a research project that can help significantly decrease foreign oil imports -- the first E85 compatible hybrid. The flexible-fuel hybrid Escape was unveiled at today’s Washington Auto Show.

“As a leader in both hybrid vehicles and in vehicles capable of operating on ethanol-based fuels, Ford is the ideal company to bring both technologies together for the first time,” says Anne Stevens, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and chief operating officer, The Americas.

Ford currently manufactures two additional hybrid vehicles: the gasoline powered Escape and Mercury Mariner. The company expects to introduce more hybrid vehicles in years to come including a Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Ford Edge and Mercury MKX.

“We are extremely pleased to see Ford take on this endeavor,” said Phil Lampert, Executive Director of the NEVC. “This is a leap forward in the E85 industry and will help the nation even further reduce our dependency on foreign oil as well as reduce smog forming pollutants in the air.”

In model year 2006, Ford offers: the E85 compatible Ford F-150 pick-up truck, which began production in December of 2005, the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and the Lincoln Town Car. The company expects to manufacture 250,000 of E85 compatible vehicles this year.

At this time, there are nearly 600 E85 fueling stations across the United States. For a complete listing along with a listing of all E85 compatible vehicles, visit www.E85Fuel.com.

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THIS I like. If everyone owned one of these things, then TX and AK could supply enough oil to ween our country from the terrorists' black teet.

not really, but it could be a big dent. a study that showed up on digg.com said if every vehicle ran on 100% ethanol we'd need 95-99% of the land we have to grow the fuel needed for an average car that puts 12k miles on it a year

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not really, but it could be a big dent.  a study that showed up on digg.com said if every vehicle ran on 100% ethanol we'd need 95-99% of the land we have to grow the fuel needed for an average car that puts 12k miles on it a year

While this MAY be true, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Junk science is often used to promote whomever's agenda can pay for the study.

Two examples off the top of my head:

A study in the 1800's talked about how the world was going to be in big trouble from horse crap in the year 2000. That there would be so many people and so many horses in the big cities that it would have to be piled 10 feet high along the side of the road.

A second "study" was conducted way before this. It claimed that the world population could never reach 1 billion because there wasn't enough land to grow enough crops to feed this population.

When true science comes along, stuff gets figured out, and systems become efficent.

So yes, by today's ethanol production standards, it may not work. That doesn't mean that tomorrows won't be able to handle it. Or an even more likely scenario might be that we move on to a completely different fuel in the middle of the process.

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OK... let me get into a little math here.

Current fuel is 10% Ethanol. E85 is 85%. So, going from 90% of gas being from crude to 15% means we use 1/6 the oil we used to. So, consumption is down 83%.

Current hybids... well let's be generous and say they add 20 mpg to the Prius. So that's roughly a 40% jump in efficiency. So, consumption is down 40%.

Combining E85 with a hybrid means consumption would be down 89%.

Getting rid of 83% or 89% of the crude we use - either one is impressive. The hybrid technology is expensive and hard to maintain. Consumers will probably be more likely to support E85.

This is why i think GM's E85 efforts are much more important and realistic than the hybrid efforts.

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Since the Silverado hybrid uses the 5.3, wouldn't it be super simple for the General to make it a FlexFuel vehicle?

I'll take a FlexFuel, Active Fuel Management, Silverado Hybrid please....

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If we could get the necessary alcohol, then yes the oil would not be needed. It just won't happen. The Northern half of the country has too short of a growing season and the southern half of the country doesn't have enough water.

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If we could get the necessary alcohol, then yes the oil would not be needed.  It just won't happen. The Northern half of the country has too short of a growing season and the southern half of the country doesn't have enough water.

I'm honestly not trying to split hairs here, but what do you mean the south doesn't have enough water? Have you not been to the south? The water supply in this country is far more divided between east and west, than north and south.

Along the lines of your thinking though, thankfully we have good trade going on with NAFTA and CAFTA. The last meetings with the South American countries didn't go too well. (freaking Chavez) But Brazil was open to trade treaties and they are pretty much leading the world in Ethanol production and E85 style technologies.

Anyway, it seems that we have at least some neighbors and friends who can help in supplying these supply deficiencies. And in my opinion, I’d rather make farmers near Sao Paulo rich than Sheiks in the desert.

Edited by zbad1

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I'm honestly not trying to split hairs here, but what do you mean the south doesn't have enough water? Have you not been to the south? The water supply in this country is far more divided between east and west, than north and south.

Along the lines of your thinking though, thankfully we have good trade going on with NAFTA and CAFTA. The last meetings with the South American countries didn't go too well. (freaking Chavez) But Brazil was open to trade treaties and they are pretty much leading the world in Ethanol production and E85 style technologies.

Anyway, it seems that we have at least some neighbors and friends who can help in supplying these supply deficiencies. And in my opinion, I’d rather make farmers near Sao Paulo rich than Sheiks in the desert.

Certainly the Southeast has water, but the southwest doesn't. Not only have I been to the South you speak of, but I gave a research report to the Florida Citrus Comission in Lakeland Florida. I am sure that they are not going to take the little land that hasn't been turned into tract housing into alchol production. Of course the waste product of all that orange juice production, spent peel, is avilable for alchol production after the essential oils are stripped from it. Even back in the 1970's a barrel of this was worth thousands of dollars.

Alcohol has less energy content than petroeum oil. It would be quite expensive to ship it here from Brazil. Even Brazil only has sufficient alcohol production for part of the year.

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Certainly the Southeast has water, but the southwest doesn't.  Not only have I been to the South you speak of, but I gave a research report to the Florida Citrus Comission in Lakeland Florida.  I am sure that they are not going to take the little land that hasn't been turned into tract housing into alchol production.  Of course the waste product of all that orange juice production, spent peel, is avilable for alchol production after the essential oils are stripped from it.  Even back in the 1970's a barrel of this was worth thousands of dollars.

Alcohol has less energy content than petroeum oil.  It would be quite expensive to ship it here from Brazil.  Even Brazil only has sufficient alcohol production for part of the year.

Again, not trying to split hairs....

So we agree that it's a difference between east and west, not north and south.

There are many more states in the south than just Florida. Sounds like a pretty interesting gig, delivering research to an important group such as the Citrus Commission. What do you do? Lakeland is a beautiful area. I have family all around Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona.

Sure, it would be expensive to ship from Brazil, but nothing like the expense of shipping from Iran. We are in the first generation of Ethanol productions and efficiency as far as use on a major scale is concerned. Time, use, and widespread research would vastly improve all aspects.

But I believe, as I'm guessing you do, that this is mostly an unrealistic solution or at least a short lived patch to a much larger problem. Even if the Americas as a whole switched from being primarily petrol users to Ethanol users, we would need to quickly move onto something more substantial like Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology. I at least hope that this is what happens.

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So we agree that it's a difference between east and west, not north and south

While there certainly is a difference Sotheast to Southwest, I think there are major difference North to South also. Not the least of which is the length gowing season.

What do you do? Lakeland is a beautiful area. I have family all around Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona.

Until retirment, I was a research biochemist. I worked on Citrus, oil, and rubber producing plants.

Sure, it would be expensive to ship from Brazil, but nothing like the expense of shipping from Iran.

Although Iran is further away from the U.S. than Brazil, there are other considerations. Alcohol contains less enrgy than oil. That means that shipping alcohol means more weight for an equivalent amount of energy.

But I believe, as I'm guessing you do, that this is mostly an unrealistic solution or at least a short lived patch to a much larger problem

I think that the only viable hope for ethanol is the utilization of agricultural wastes such as citrus peel, corn foliage, and other "left overs". I believe that this is what President Bush was proposing. I can't believe I just said I agree with him. Sorry for the rant. The good news is that even relativley small amounts of ethanol use would decrease demand for petroleum based products and lower the price through supply and demand.

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