Egregious Ethanol?

LCT Magazine
Posted on April 15, 2008
BIO-FUELS COULD BE BAD FOR INDUSTRY: With the push toward alternative fuel-vehicles, the limousine and chauffeured transportation industry must weigh its options carefully. Studies have shown that ethanol-fueled (E-85) vehicles may not necessarily contribute to a greener climate since the energy used to produce and process ethanol cancels out any reduction in fossil fuel usage and emissions. A recent analysis in the New York Times reports a growing global backlash against the ethanol industry because it gobbles up croplands for ethanol production that otherwise would produce corn, wheat, and other food commodity staples. That, in turn, squeezes food supplies and aggravates food inflation. Before investing in E-85 vehicles, chauffeured transportation operators must ask some tough questons:

1) Do enthanol vehicles actually reduce carbon emissions? 2) Are enthanol-fueled vehicles the most economical route to fuel cost savings and reduction of pollutants? 3) Does the chauffeured transportation industry want to risk a negative image of contributing to high food inflation and possible food shortages by promoting the use of ethanol-fueled vehicles?

Please click the feedback link below and share your insights and experiences.

-- posted by Martin Romjue

Related Topics: Driving Green

Comments ( 2 )
  • See all comments
  • Y

     | about 11 years ago

    Please know and be advised that ECOLIMO does not promote the use of ethanol in our business or in our cars. First of all, ethanol is not widely or readily available in the State of California. If other transportation providers are promoting themselves as “green” and they should be “yellow” via the use of ethanol, where are they getting it and do they even know what it is? The most recent trend by California limousine companies is to buy a Flex Fuel vehicle because it says Flex Fuel on the back (sounds good right?) and just put regular gas in it because E85 is not readily available. Or, how about the large operator who was given large SUV hybrid cars by a large car maker for a major award show and when asked about his choice of cars didn't really care about fuel economy, emmissions or global warming "as long as the car says" HYBRID" on the outside". Oh, please!Basically, here are current choices for alternative types of energy for cars on the road today:Hybrid electric vehicles reduce tailpipe emissions by approximately 28 per cent. Ethanol, as a 10 per cent blend with gasoline, produces about three to four per cent fewer emissions than gasoline. Biodiesel, as a 20 per cent blend with diesel, produces 12 to 18 per cent fewer emissions than pure petroleum diesel. Natural gas burns more cleanly, efficiently and completely than gasoline or diesel fuel, producing far fewer toxic pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Propane produces up to 20 per cent fewer toxic pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel Cell cars have been in development for years and use a sophisticated electrochemical energy conversion device similar to a battery. The power is then put to the wheels via an electric motor. The core source of energy is hydrogen, which is sometimes extracted from water. Despite the appeal of fuel-cell cars an affordable, commercially available model is not on the horizon.Methanol is another alcohol derived from a variety of sources such as oil shale, coal, natura

More Stories