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Friday, July 29, 2005 

Pride: E85 Update

I have been running exclusively E85 in my car for a while now, so I thought I would post an update.

So far I have not seen the drop in mileage that is reported elsewhere. I don’t have hard evidence for this, just that my driving habits have not changed and I am heading to the pump at the same frequency as when I was using gas. Prices have rising sharply (as with gas) from $1.59/gal on my first tank to $1.99/gal this morning. Regular (87 octane) is $2.24/gal.

I am not a car expert or a motorhead, far from it, but my uninformed perception is that my Taurus seems to like E85. It is noticeably better starting from a stop and smoother in the application of power. Not more power, just smoother. For example when punching it hard to pass a truck, it seems to jump quicker and get to the desired speed faster. The only real surprise is that it has a real hard time getting the engine started in the morning. With gas it starts right up, with E85 I have to pump the accelerator while starting.

I am taking a long driving trip this weekend (~1000 miles round trip) and I am trying to find E85 stations along the route. Here is a route generator that maps E85 stations along the way. The availability is very spotty and I think I will be forced back to gas for at least some of the trip. I will start out with a full tank of E85 from my local station and there is an E85 stop about a tank away, after that nothing. I guess I get to test the “Flexible” in “Flexible Fuel Vehicle”.

More later

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