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Old 05-06-2009, 12:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
Ford Escort 2.0
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Electricar - '89 Ford Escort LX Hatchback
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Hopefully 'they' will come up with a viable method to make ethanol from unusable biomatter (corn husks, switchgrass, wood chips, etc) that are now thrown out or plowed under. Other wastes (WVO for example) is a good example of using material for transportation that would otherwise just be landfill.

But as said, these are future plans and projections. Ethanol produced in the US still relies on foreign oil.

Corn ethanol just doesn't make much sense as it uses at least or perhaps more energy (i.e. diesel fuel for the tractor, etc.) to produce than it puts out as an automotive fuel. (from various reports)

Only reason it is presently economically viable is because corn ethanol is subsidized. According to the USDA it would take 35% of all US corn production to replace 10% of US gasoline use - not counting the fuel, fertilizer, transportation cost, etc. to bring it to market, which replaces gasoline/automotive use for diesel/agricultural use in a roughly even swap.

In other words, corn ethanol provides zero movement away from foreign oil... and probably does nothing to improve GHG and other emissions.

That aside from the ethics of using food crops as fuel. May change in the future, but we're not there yet.

Save liquid fuels for applications that need them - airplanes, heavy transport, long distance and unique situations that require the energy density of those fuels. Petro for daily, routine automotive use during a 20-30 mile commute is a waste of resources. But as with cellulosic ethanol, aside from a few homemade or the rare surviving factory example, electrics are mostly the 'future' as well.

Home made 'fuel' will be (actually is...) easiest for Electrics - just put a few solar panels on the roof of the garage, and there you are...
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