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Please add flex fuel capability to the Volt. That way when a driver does need to use the internal combustion engine, he can choose to use something other than gasoline, namely ethanol, or at worst, ethanol with a little bit of gasoline mixed in. I'm aware that GM was originally planning flex-fuel capability for the Volt, then dropped it for model year 2011, and is now talking about adding it at some point soon, perhaps 2012 or 2013. I am waiting for this feature before I will buy a Volt, since I occasionally need to drive long distances and would prefer to be able to use E85 for that. In fact a flex fuel Volt would be perfect for me since there is no local E85 station. So flex fuel wouldn't much help for every day driving, but the Volt's electric capability would. However, when I do need to drive a ways, I'd hate to have to still use gasoline; I'd love to be able to fill up on E85 since there are pumps in all directions if you go an hour or so.

Preferably, make flex fuel a standard feature in all upcoming Volts, rather than merely being something available in just one variety of the Volt.

Even better, make flex fuel a standard feature across the board of the entire GM line-up. I know GM promised in Dec. 2008 to make half its cars flex-fuel by 2012. Given that adding ethanol compatibility costs about only $100 per car at the factory this is an unjustifiably leisurely pace.

Even better, make it FULL flex fuel capability, the ability to run not just on gasoline or ethanol, but also methanol, propanol, butanol, or any other alcohol fuel. Adding this on top of ethanol compatibility adds a mere $30 per car, for a total of $130. Methanol is key because it is so cheap in comparison to gasoline, even after taking its lower mileage into account. It can be made from natural gas, coal, or ANY biomass including crop residues, weeds, trash, even sewage, and thus will help those who have been scared away from ethanol by the oil cartel - pushed "food vs fuel" FUD myth into weaning themselves from gasoline anyway.

Even better, support the efforts of Set America Free, Mobility Choice, Citizens for Energy Freedom, and others to pass and implement a law requiring that all new gasoline cars sold in America (sold, not made, so as to include imports) be fully flex fueled as a standard feature, like seat belts. For more information, see the books "Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil" by rocket scientist and nuclear engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin, "Turning Oil Into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice" by Gal Luft and Anne Korin, and "Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy" by Dr. George Olah, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry.

Or see this talk by Zubrin at the Authors @ Google series:


Thanks.
 

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I concur completely. I feel like on a small level this aspect of the car was a bait and switch.
 

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Outstanding post! I can't believe GM made the Volt to run on premium of all things! If they don't make it E85, or some type of flex very soon, they are going to suffer with low sales and then WE suffer from the resulting low production. A cutting-edge vehicle like this should contain ALL the most up-to-date technologies!!
 

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Outstanding post! I can't believe GM made the Volt to run on premium of all things! If they don't make it E85, or some type of flex very soon, they are going to suffer with low sales and then WE suffer from the resulting low production. A cutting-edge vehicle like this should contain ALL the most up-to-date technologies!!
Please folks there are reasons for things. We need to use business and common sense here.

Limited time and budget like normal business. They had priorities but had to get it done otherwise whiners would be in droves.

As for premium there as a reason:
See: http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/30/why-the-volt-requires-premium-gasoline/

I used 0.5 gallons of premium last week to go 260+ miles. Do you think I care I paid $0.10 for that extra cost of premium for the 0.5 gallons of gas I used ?!?
 

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Outstanding post! I can't believe GM made the Volt to run on premium of all things! If they don't make it E85, or some type of flex very soon, they are going to suffer with low sales and then WE suffer from the resulting low production. A cutting-edge vehicle like this should contain ALL the most up-to-date technologies!!
Please folks there are reasons for things. We need to use business and common sense here.

Limited time and budget like normal business. They had priorities but had to get it done otherwise whiners would be in droves.

As for premium there as a reason:
See: http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/30/why-the-volt-requires-premium-gasoline/

I used 0.5 gallons of premium last week to go 260+ miles. Do you think I care I paid $0.10 for that extra cost of premium for the 0.5 gallons of gas I used ?!?
Good points Scott! (and all true)
Considering the added benefits of using premium fuel are essentially achieved at a "cost neutral" scenario, (or even at a savings in some cases) I don't understand the negativity associated to its use in the Volt.

And as far as E85 compatability goes. This wasnt considered absolutely essential for 2011, given the low numbers of stations offering E85 in most states. According to the DOE, in the entire USA there are currently (as of 03/31/11) only 2349 filling stations with E85. Minnesota is represented with the MOST E85 stations with 364 and 18 states have less than 10 (6 with ZERO).
Now these numbers will certainly climb but...
CURRENTLY not a high priority and certainly I don't see it affecting 2011 or even 2012 Volt sales significantly

WopOnTour

DOE STATS
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/stations_counts.html
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/ethanol/ethanol_locations.html
 

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Yes, but..... Some people want the option to spend a little more $/mile to use our surplus ethanol production instead of imported oil. For many of us E85 is easily available from multiple stations. As was pointed out earlier, the extra cost is trivial if most miles are electric. Of course the real benefit is trivial also, but sometimes piece of mind is priceless.

GSP
 

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Hey WopOnTour,
What are the chances the 2011 can run on E85? Does it have the required fuel sensors, EFI maps, etc. but GM just could not get it EPA and CARB certified in time for the 2011 MY?
 
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