Honda Urges Tougher Fuel Economy Regs
Chicago Board of Trade Adds Ethanol Futures

GM Provides 28 E85 Avalanches for Flex Fuel Promotion

GM is providing E85-capable (flex fuel) Chevrolet Avalanches for use in 28 member states of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition (GEC), a bipartisan group of governors devoted to the promotion and increased use of ethanol. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline.

GM will begin delivering the E85 Avalanches beginning in March 2005 as part of a campaign by GM and the GEC to promote the use and benefits of ethanol.

GM is currently the largest producer of E85 flexible fuel vehicles in the United States, with more than 1.1 million vehicles on the road and with vehicles available for sale in all 50 states. Unfortunately, with only some 300 public E85 fueling stations in the country, the full potential benefit of the flex fuel platforms goes unrealized.

GM will continue to do its part by producing flexible fuel vehicles. But, we will not enjoy the full benefits of ethanol until we drive as much ethanol as possible to gas station pumps. Collaborative efforts like the one we announced today are critical to encourage improvements to the E85 infrastructure and to help educate and encourage consumers to use E85 in their flexible fuel vehicles whenever possible.

—Thomas Stephens, GM Powertrain group vice president

The E85 Avalanche uses a 5.3-liter V-8 that produces 295 hp (220 kW) of power and 330 lb-ft (447 Nm) of torque, and meets ULEV-1 emissions specifications.

The difference between ULEV-1 (which is phasing out from 2004–2007) and ULEV-2 (which is phasing in from 2004 on) is in NOx and PM emissions; NMOG, CO and HCHO requirements remain the same.

California ULEV-1 and ULEV-2
NOx 50k 0.2 0.05
  100k 0.3 0.07
PM 50k
  100k 0.04 0.01

Ethanol, with a lower energy content than gasoline, lowers fuel efficiency of the engine. The chart below compares the Avalanche running on E85 vs straight gasoline. The estimate of annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions is on a full-fuel cycle basis, and is from the EPA. Even though fuel consumption with E85 is 33% higher, the estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 27% lower.

2005 Avalanche 2WD 1500
Combined EPA mileage 12 mpg 16 mpg
Combined EPA consumption 19.6 l/100km 14.7 l/100km
Annual GHG emissions (EPA) 8.5 tons 11.7 tons

GM will provide E85-capable Chevrolet Avalanches for use in the following GEC member states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Duane  Sand

Hello - 9/28/2007

Is there any flex fuel cars that use the higher octane of E85 to get as good or better milage with the E85? - I think this is key to the extended use of ethanol -

Information or links addressing this will be most appreciated - I've been "Googling" without much luck -

I am a retired Systems Engineer, and my agenda is to promote ethanol, because I believe on balance it is good for America -


Not yet. I read an EPA study where the agency actually built an e85 optimized engine - it converted from a diesel by adding spark capability. Running on e85 they got 40% better mileage than they did with an identical engine (save for the compression ratio) running on gasoline because they could run the e85 enginge at a 19:1 compression ratio vs. the gas engine at 10:1.

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