The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 285
You didn't push a hot button, we respond to people who are good enough to
make comments, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. I wish
those who I challenge would be as cooperative and considerate. They usually
Now to the details:
You tell me about your 2014 owner’s manual, but you didn't tell me what kind
of vehicle. That seems strange to me, but okay. You tell me that the owner's
manual says anything above E15 is unsafe. I already know that many owner's
manuals say that. Some say don't use anything above E10, and there is even
at least one non-flex fuel car (a MINI) that says it's okay to use up to E25.
However, I don't care what the owner's manual says, I'm telling you what is true.
The manufacturers have put limits in their U.S. owner's manuals in order to limit
their warranty liability. But this doesn't mean that the vehicle can't safely and
economically use higher blend levels.
I'll give you an example. About a year and a half ago, I attended a media event
to drive the new Volvo XC90 (beautiful car, by the way). During dinner, I asked
the marketing director why the car is not being marketed as a flex fuel car in
America. He said, "Because it's not a flex fuel car. You can't use anything higher
than E10" I insisted it was, he insisted it wasn't. This went back and forth until
finally, he said "Look, I'm the one who works for Volvo, I should know."
I had him where I wanted him.
I asked where the vehicle is manufactured, he said Sweden. I asked what's the
difference between the XC90 made for use in Sweden and the XC90 made for
use in the U.S., and he proudly said "Nothing different." So I said, “But in Sweden, your mandated regular fuel is much higher than E10." He didn't reply, I had
He did say that in Sweden they don't mandate E85, just E25 or E30. So I asked
why don't they market the car for the U.S. as being capable of running at E25
or E30. He said they don't do it because the engine and fuel system might have
problems after five years. I asked, "what's wrong with that?" He said, "Because
we make the engines to last for ten years." So I asked how long the engines
and fuel system is warranted and he said three years. "In that case," I asked,