Flexfuel to the rescue

What is needed is for the Congress to pass a law requiring that all new cars sold in the United States be flex-fueled – able to run on any combination of alcohol or gasoline fuel. Such cars are existing technology – in fact about 24 different models of flex-fuel cars were produced by the Detroit Big Three in 2007, and they only cost about $100 more than the same car in a gasoline-only version. But, since alcohol fuel pumps (such as E85, a fuel mix that is 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) are nearly as rare as unicorns, flex-fuel cars only command about 3 percent of the new-car market.

SPEAKOUT: Flex-fuel cars can break OPEC : Speakout : The Rocky Mountain News

Zubrin’s plan got me thinking. We have an E85 pump at the new Kroger that I pass each day. I have been told that the lower miles per gallon for the flex fuel vehicles makes them more costly to run. With the recent publicity I got to wondering what the numbers really say. I have a 2000 Subaru Forester that might make an interesting test subject. Hmm…

Without too much problem I found a company that specializes in the conversion kits, Fuel Flex International, LLC. They have a kit for $369.99. For a guy who lives on a farm it looks like a relatively simple job. Since I am an engineer by training I think I will record my fuel consumption, mileage, and cost over the next two weeks to establish a baseline. Since the E85 pump is nearby to where I normally fill up I will log its price, too. At the end of two weeks I will probably have a pretty good idea how the numbers are working out.