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Old 08-07-2013, 08:43 PM   #47 (permalink)
Allch Chcar
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Coast, California
Posts: 429

Cordelia - '15 Mazda Mazda3 i Sport
90 day: 37.83 mpg (US)
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Nope, only dry Ethanol with denaturant available here. I put 1 gallon of E85 into the van before I filled it. Works out to be just under E15, roughly. Going to work up to E30 at some point but I'm taking it slow for now.

As I watch this behavior more and more I've found that views tend to vary depending on how the community prioritizes things. Not necessarily the group politics.

Here it's largely things like cost per mile, MPG, overall efficiency, and the overall environmental effects. Practical opinions based on what can be seen or proven. But opinions and politics vary wildly.

When I go to an economy car forums they focus on MPG, range per tank, how often they have to fill up, how easy it is to find, and what they heard from their preferred news source. Opinions range from "Ethanol is clean and efficient" to "Ethanol is dirtier and more expensive." But in general the majority tend to be negative. Both of the big Ford Focus forums are largely anti-Ethanol. Tom over on focusfanatics is a big name tuner there and he absolutely hates it. I couldn't find a thread there regarding E85 that he didn't participate in. FJ is full of patriotic Americans and they still tend to be negative about it.

An enthusiast car forum with engine builders and hotrodders tend to favor E85 for economical performance but not for fuel economy or any nebulous "feel good" reasons. They also tend to hate hybrids in general. NASIOC they love E85. Opinions on ft86club were mixed even after tunes for E85 showed huge gains. Despite the fact that two of the largest feeder communities (Supra and Subaru fanboys) love it. There are multiple Flexfuel kits available for a brand new car! Even now it's still divided between people who run E85 and people who are "forced" to buy E10. Some people claim it even causes engine crickets.

I've gone to car forums and seen people complain specifically about E10, call Ethanol a boondoggle, praise E85 as the messiah, detractors comment about how good/bad they hear it is, and tuners discuss their personal experience. I've heard just about every myth that is believed. The primary reason I support the alt energy I do is because I spent time researching it, reading technical studies, political news, and reading/hearing people's personal experience. Now the majority opinion might still support Ethanol and the RFS that largely encourages it. But I'm having a hard time finding that opinion on the places I go. The E85 forums I've found were tiny or abandoned.

It makes me question how viable it is without more support. Even the most stalwart, diehard Ethanol supporter will balk if you mention "eliminating Fossil Fuels." Which we could not do with Corn alone. But as it is we can't even use all the Corn Ethanol we have. We exported 10% of what we made last year. If this keeps up, where will Ethanol be in 5/10 years?
-Allch Chcar

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