FlexFuel Vehicles

While there are a variety of alternative fuels available - from natural gas to bio-diesel, the General Motors products sold by Jim Ellis that use the term "FlexFuel" can use the corn-based E85 Ethanol instead of gasoline.



Click on a Topic Below for Additional Information:
 


FlexFuel Technology

FlexFuel vehicles are able to use regular gasoline, ethanol, or any combination of those two fuels.

E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It is the most commonly available blended fuel for use in FlexFuel vehicles.

Ethanol is a corrosive alcohol that will degrade common steel and rubber fuel system parts on conventional vehicles. Flex-fuel vehicles are manufactured with synthetic and/or composite fuel system parts that can tolerate high levels of alcohol.

One trade-off where E85 is concerned is that it does reduce overall fuel efficiency (so you'd be filling up more often), but the fuel is less expensive per fill-up, and results in fewer emissions.




FlexFuel Advantages

Domestically produced from grain or biomass, ethanol holds promise for helping to meet cleaner transportation needs of the future. 

There is still carbon emitted, however, the argument is that the carbon dioxide emissions are from corn or grain which are actively part of the current ecosystem, unlike the emissions released from gasoline or other fossil fuels, which have been locked underground, and not naturally part of the current carbon mix.

Another major benefit of E85 and Ethanol fuel is that it reduces dependency on petroleum.  In an age when the US dependency upon foreign oil is a topic of politics and pundits, this cannot be ignored. The American farmers who grow corn to produce ethanol benefit from this technology, rather than overseas drillers.




Alternative Fuel License Plates

While Flexfuel vehicles do not qualify for tax credits, they do meet the requirements for Georgia's Alternative Fuel License Plate  if in fact they are using ethanol as their fuel source at least 85% of the time. (Proof of this may be required at the time of application.)



Environmental Impact

One of the biggest concerns surrounding ethanol as a fuel for automobiles is that it impacts the supply and demand ratios for grains and corn that are used to produce it. This raise in demand in turn raises the cost of the corn and grain that also serves as part of the food supply. Rising grocery bills are in part because of rising oil prices (because you have to transport the food from the farm to the store), and in part because corn and grain can be sold for more money to make fuel. 

Corn itself, is notoriously hard on the environment, stripping the ground of nitrogen, and the heavy machinery used to process it has a considerable footprint as well.

As mentioned above, there is still carbon dioxide emitted when automobiles burn E85 or Ethanol. Again, the argument in favor of this is that the carbon dioxide emissions are from corn or grain which are actively part of the current ecosystem, unlike the emissions released from gasoline or other fossil fuels, which have been locked underground, and not naturally part of the current carbon mix.




Click on a Model for More about FlexFuel Trucks and SUVs at Jim Ellis:



Buick Regal Turbo

With regular gasoline, the EPA estimates that the 2011 Buick Regal achieves 19 miles per gallon in the city, and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.  The EPA numbers for the 2011 Buick Regal Turbo are not yet released, so we don't know the fuel mileage for this model with the E85 fuel just yet. We will update this site with that information as soon as it's available.



Buick Lucerne

The Buick Lucerne gets about 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway for the Lucerne.



Chevrolet Avalanche

The Chevrolet Avalanche gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the Chevy SUV.



Chevrolet Express Vans
 

The Chevrolet Express Vans get about 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 10 mpg city and 13 mpg highway for the Chevy vans.



Chevrolet HHR

The Chevrolet crossover gets about 22 mpg in the city and  32 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the Chevy crossovers.



Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala gets about 18 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for the Chevy cars.



Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu gets about 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the Chevy cars. The Malibu is also available as a hybrid .



Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the Chevy pick-up truck. The Chevy Silverado is also available as a hybrid.



Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the Chevy SUV.



Chevrolet Tahoe
 

The Chevrolet Tahoe gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the Chevy SUV. The Chevy Tahoe is also available as a hybrid.



GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the GMC truck. The GMC Sierra is also available as a hybrid.



GMC Savanna
 

The GMC Savanna gets about 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 10 mpg city and 13 mpg highway for the GMC van.



GMC Yukon

The
GMC Yukon gets about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway with regular gasoline. As noted above, gas mileage does reduce with E85. The mileage for the clean bio-fuel is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway for the GMC SUV. The GMC Yukon is also available as a hybrid.