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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long before the Volt was released GM advised the Volt will run on E85 gas. There are still video's out there advising of this. Is there any word on if the 2012 Volt can use E85 gas? Checkout the link I have posted of a video on Youtube that has been posted by Chevrolet. It mentions "as long as you stop to refill with E85 ethanol or gasoline, you can drive the volt like a traditional car". When will we be able to do this with the Volt using E85 gas?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NM_DzUSlZA
 

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I don't shed any tears over the lack of E-85 capability. There are better uses for corn when there are so many hungry people in the world. The only thing ethanol has accomplished is pushing up corn prices for farmers, who no longer collect government price supports because the crop prices are so much above the established support triggers.

The only positive I can think of for E-85 capability is that as the EPA and Congress is pushing us to accept higher and higher levels at the pump, the additional enhancements (at a cost) to the fuel system will make it more robust against the corrosive effects of ethanol.
 

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If you are one of the Volt owners who use the gas engine so infrequently that the vehicle has to enter the maintenance mode to keep the fuel fresh, do you really want the highly corrosive E-85 sitting in your tank all that time? (Assuming it had E-85 capability, which it does not.) I know it's a pressurized system to help maintain fuel quality, but what happens to E-85 when it sits unused for 6 months?

Even though the EPA says the new E-15 they have foisted on us can be used in all model year 2001 and newer cars, do you really want E-15 in your Volt? Right now, E-15 is identified by warning labels (that most people don't bother to read), but the day may be coming when you don't have a choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't shed any tears over the lack of E-85 capability. There are better uses for corn when there are so many hungry people in the world. The only thing ethanol has accomplished is pushing up corn prices for farmers, who no longer collect government price supports because the crop prices are so much above the established support triggers.

The only positive I can think of for E-85 capability is that as the EPA and Congress is pushing us to accept higher and higher levels at the pump, the additional enhancements (at a cost) to the fuel system will make it more robust against the corrosive effects of ethanol.
What about E85 that is made out of recycled products? E85 production is improving dramatically and can now be produced from waste products. Looking forward to run my Volt on E85 rather than full strength gas. I know the Volt is not compatible with E85 at the moment. But I am sure GM will work out what to do with E85 and will be no different to the maintenance mode the vehicle has at the moment.
 

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Bob, this is what is know as "hijacking a thread". The OP asked if anyone knew when E85 would be available for the Volt. It was not an open invitation to discuss the pros and cons of E85. And now we have a second poster who has now responded to your redirect of the subject of this thread. I know this is easily done but we all have to be on guard. In fact one could argue I just did the same! I too would like to know when E85 would be available in the Volt or for that matter a natural gas or diesel engine would be desirable as well. It is my understanding that each of these would have much longer storage periods than regular gas. Does anyone know what needs to be changed on the Volt to use E85? Is there actually nothing that needs to be done other than certification?
 

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I think the E85 option for the Volt is definitely on the back burner. I don't think we've heard anything about E85 for the Volt is a long while, and back in 2007 we heard about it a lot. I don't think adding it would be a big deal but the payoff isn't that obvious. There just aren't many E85 stations where I am -- I'd have to drive 40 miles to fill up which seems counter productive. My impression is that the E85 experiment has more or less ended. Unless the manufacturers will get larger CAFE credits it seems like we'll see fewer rather than more E85 capable cars on the road. At least until there is a better bio-fuel, though then we won't have E85.

@ron64 -- It happens. Threads go where the interest is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does anyone know what needs to be changed on the Volt to use E85? Is there actually nothing that needs to be done other than certification?
I found this on the internet.

"E-85 ethanol is used in engines modified to accept higher concentrations of ethanol. Such flexible-fuel engines are designed to run on any mixture of gasoline or ethanol with up to 85% ethanol by volume. The primary differences from non-FFVs is the elimination of bare magnesium, aluminum, and rubber parts in the fuel system, the use of fuel pumps capable of operating with electrically conductive (ethanol) instead of non-conducting dielectric (gasoline) fuel, specially-coated wear-resistant engine parts, fuel injection control systems having a wider range of pulse widths (for injecting approximately 60% more fuel), the selection of stainless steel fuel lines (sometimes lined with plastic), the selection of stainless steel fuel tanks in place of terne fuel tanks, and, in some cases, the use of acid-neutralizing motor oil. For vehicles with fuel-tank mounted fuel pumps, additional differences to prevent arcing, as well as flame arrestors positioned in the tank's fill pipe, are also sometimes used."

I don't think it would be hard to implement this as GM has already talked about making the Volt E85 compatible.
 

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I do hope that newer Volt model years have E-85 (Flexible Fuel) features. Since some homeowners can generate electricity and charge the battery for free (well, almost free), I believe that when gasoline prices go up even higher, some Volt owners will attempt to use homebrew alcohol (like "moonshine") to extend their range without gasoline. Obviously, that may affect their present warranty, but as most of us are car tinkerers after the GM warranty expires, I know someone will do it. There we can see who can really run their Volt 100% for free (at least for the cost of making fuel). If the ICE was a Diesel, there would be homemade biodiesel in it.
 

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Wouldn't using E85 seriously affect mileage and range in CS mode?
No doubt and that is the exact opposite of what we need with the MPG focus on new cars and comparisons to a Prius or other "EREV" vehicle. Premium is used for efficiency and to keep the gas more stable/longer. See: http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/30/why-the-volt-requires-premium-gasoline/

Also why E85 ... it is more of a PR checkbox. The MAIN point of driving the Volt is to drive on electricity. I've driven my last 4400 miles on 11 gallons of gas. What good is E85 in this example and many other Volt owners?!? An insignificant impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No doubt and that is the exact opposite of what we need with the MPG focus on new cars and comparisons to a Prius or other "EREV" vehicle. Premium is used for efficiency and to keep the gas more stable/longer. See: http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/30/why-the-volt-requires-premium-gasoline/

Also why E85 ... it is more of a PR checkbox. The MAIN point of driving the Volt is to drive on electricity. I've driven my last 4400 miles on 11 gallons of gas. What good is E85 in this example and many other Volt owners?!? An insignificant impact.
E85 is made from plants and can also be made using plant waste products and also house hold garbage. So this type of fuel is renewable. It also supports GM's commitment to alternative fuel sources so cant knock that. Even though it might increase your MPG who cares as most of the time the Volt would be running on electricity and in CS mode it could run on E85 and not premium gasoline resulting in less emissions and better for the environment. I know I would rather use E85 in my Volt while running in CS mode than premium gasoline. Because E85 is better for the environment and is also cheaper than premium gas.
 

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I asked the same question two months ago. Here's the answer...

@Adarondax

The 2012 Volt will still require premium.
Volt Advisor Trevor
Chevrolet Volt Advisor Team
 

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E85 is made from plants and can also be made using plant waste products and also house hold garbage. So this type of fuel is renewable. It also supports GM's commitment to alternative fuel sources so cant knock that. Even though it might increase your MPG who cares as most of the time the Volt would be running on electricity and in CS mode it could run on E85 and not premium gasoline resulting in less emissions and better for the environment. I know I would rather use E85 in my Volt while running in CS mode than premium gasoline. Because E85 is better for the environment and is also cheaper than premium gas.
I would agree if E85 was currently made from plant waste household refuse. Unfortunately, it is not, and will most likely not be in significant quantities during the lifetime of a Volt purchased this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I asked the same question two months ago. Here's the answer...

@Adarondax

The 2012 Volt will still require premium.
Volt Advisor Trevor
Chevrolet Volt Advisor Team
Here's hoping the 2013 Volt will have E85 as Australia should receive the 2013 build vehicles next year as the Volt is planned to be released in October of 2012 in Australia.
 

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Bob, this is what is know as "hijacking a thread".
Seems like everyone else posting is only interested (or evangelizing) in the pros and cons of ethanol. No definitive answer to the original question (which I can guarantee you, takes much engineering time as well as EPA certification). Then according to ron's thinking, nobody should post anything else here unless they know a definitive model year for E-85. Seems there are bigger fish to fry, engineering wise, for all the gas the Volt uses compared to other vehicles.
 

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Bob, that's the lovely thing about forums. No matter how hard you try to soft peddle a criticism it comes across as a harsh attack. I understand that threads drift around and quite often (always?) end up somewhere other that where the OP started but I just think we should refrain from that for at least the first couple of replies! My main interest in E85 would be in its longer shelf life. In a vehicle like the Volt where some drivers might rarely use the fuel it would be an advantage if it would last longer. But of course the engine management would have to detect E85 and not turn on the engine just to use fuel up in order to take advantage of this longer shelf life. I live in Minnesota where we have I believe the most E85 stations in the nation so it is very available here. I will occasionally run it in my Suburban but only when it is at least 20% cheaper than gasoline (E10).
 

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Here is the Feb 2010 blog about it with some back and forth comments.

gm-says-first-year-chevy-volts-will-not-be-e85-capable-calls-for-more-e85-stations
http://gm-volt.com/2010/02/17/gm-sa...t-be-e85-capable-calls-for-more-e85-stations/

Bob, that's the lovely thing about forums. No matter how hard you try to soft peddle a criticism it comes across as a harsh attack. I understand that threads drift around and quite often (always?) end up somewhere other that where the OP started but I just think we should refrain from that for at least the first couple of replies! My main interest in E85 would be in its longer shelf life. In a vehicle like the Volt where some drivers might rarely use the fuel it would be an advantage if it would last longer. But of course the engine management would have to detect E85 and not turn on the engine just to use fuel up in order to take advantage of this longer shelf life. I live in Minnesota where we have I believe the most E85 stations in the nation so it is very available here. I will occasionally run it in my Suburban but only when it is at least 20% cheaper than gasoline (E10).
Interesting point about shelf life/stability ... I did not realize it was that way ... hmm.

In regards to the cost of using E85 vs gas.

Will E85 Save Me Money? (http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=fuel&subject=fuelAlt&story=e85)
At its current price per gallon, E85 doesn't save you money, and it might cost you more. As of December 2010, a gallon of E85 was approximately 13 percent less than the cost of a gallon of gasoline nationally, according to e85prices.com. However, E85 produces 27 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline, so on average it ends up costing more.

For example, the flex-fuel 2010 Chevrolet Impala equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 18/29 mpg (city/highway) on gasoline and 14/21 mpg when burning E85. The acceleration is pretty much the same, but the car's range is shortened. In other words, you'll be filling the tank more often when using E85.

Do the math and you'll discover that E85 must be priced roughly 28 percent less than gas just to break even. For example, if gasoline is $3 per gallon, E85 would have to be priced below $2.16 per gallon. There are regions in the Corn Belt where E85 reaches this threshold, making it cost effective.
 

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Here's hoping the 2013 Volt will have E85 as Australia should receive the 2013 build vehicles next year as the Volt is planned to be released in October of 2012 in Australia.
How do the smog laws in Oz compare to the US (and more particularly to the CA laws)? Getting fuel certifications can be a PITA. Do you know if it's such a hassle there? For that matter, have we heard anything about E-85 and the Ampera/Euro-Volt?
 
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