A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel, usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel, and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. Modern flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by a fuel composition sensor. Flex-fuel vehicles are distinguished from bi-fuel vehicles, where two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time, for example, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen.
The most common commercially available FFV in the world market is the ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle, with about 50 million + automobiles, motorcycles and light duty trucks manufactured and sold worldwide by mid 2015, and concentrated in four markets, Brazil (29.0 million by 2017-YTD), the United States (17.4 million by the end of 2014), Canada (1.6 million by 2014), and Europe, led by Sweden (243,100). In addition to flex-fuel vehicles running with ethanol, in Europe and the US, mainly in California, there have been successful test programs with methanol flex-fuel vehicles, known as M85 flex-fuel vehicles. There have been also successful tests using P-series fuels with E85 flex fuel vehicles, but as of June 2008, this fuel is not yet available to the general public. These successful tests with P-series fuels were conducted on Ford Taurus and Dodge Caravan flexible-fuel vehicles.
Though technology exists to allow ethanol FFVs to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, from pure gasoline up to 100% ethanol (E100), North American and European flex-fuel vehicles are optimized to run on E85, a blend of 85% anhydrous ethanol fuel with 15% gasoline. This upper limit in the ethanol content is set to reduce ethanol emissions at low temperatures and to avoid cold starting problems during cold weather, at temperatures lower than 11 °C (52 °F). The alcohol content is reduced during the winter in regions where temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) to a winter blend of E70 in the U.S. or to E75 in Sweden from November until March. Brazilian flex fuel vehicles are optimized to run on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100). The Brazilian flex vehicles are built-in with a small gasoline reservoir for cold starting the engine when temperatures drop below 15 °C (59 °F). An improved flex motor generation was launched in 2009 which eliminated the need for the secondary gas tank.
As ethanol FFVs became commercially available during the late 1990s, the common use of the term “flexible-fuel vehicle” became synonymous with ethanol FFVs. In the United States flex-fuel vehicles are also known as “E85 vehicles”. In Brazil, the FFVs are popularly known as “total flex” or simply “flex” cars. In Europe, FFVs are also known as “flexifuel” vehicles. Automakers, particularly in Brazil and the European market, use badging in their FFV models with the some variant of the word “flex”, such as Volvo Flexifuel, or Volkswagen Total Flex, or Chevrolet FlexPower or Renault Hi-Flex, and Ford sells its Focus model in Europe as Flexifuel and as Flex in Brazil. In the US, only since 2008 FFV models feature a yellow gas cap with the label “E85/Gasoline” written on the top of the cap to differentiate E85s from gasoline only models.
Flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) are based on dual-fuel systems that supply both fuels into the combustion chamber at the same time in various calibrated proportions. The most common fuels used by FFVs today are unleaded gasoline and ethanol fuel. Ethanol FFVs can run on pure gasoline, pure ethanol (E100) or any combination of both. Methanol has also been blended with gasoline in flex-fuel vehicles known as M85 FFVs, but their use has been limited mainly to demonstration projects and small government fleets, particularly in California.
Bi-fuel vehicles. The term flexible-fuel vehicles is sometimes used to include other alternative fuel vehicles that can run with compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG; also known as autogas), or hydrogen. However, all these vehicles actually are bi-fuel and not flexible-fuel vehicles, because they have engines that store the other fuel in a separate tank, and the engine runs on one fuel at a time. Bi-fuel vehicles have the capability to switch back and forth from gasoline to the other fuel, manually or automatically. The most common available fuel in the market for bi-fuel cars is natural gas (CNG), and by 2008 there were 9,6 million natural gas vehicles, led by Pakistan (2.0 million), Argentina (1.7 million), and Brazil (1.6 million). Natural gas vehicles are a popular choice as taxicabs in the main cities of Argentina and Brazil. Normally, standard gasoline vehicles are retrofitted in specialized shops, which involve installing the gas cylinder in the trunk and the CNG injection system and electronics.
Multifuel vehicles are capable of operating with more than two fuels. In 2004 GM do Brasil introduced the Chevrolet Astra 2.0 with a “MultiPower” engine built on flex fuel technology developed by Bosch of Brazil, and capable of using CNG, ethanol and gasoline (E20-E25 blend) as fuel. This automobile was aimed at the taxicab market and the switch among fuels is done manually. In 2006 Fiat introduced the Fiat Siena Tetra fuel, a four-fuel car developed under Magneti Marelli of Fiat Brazil. This automobile can run as a flex-fuel on 100% ethanol (E100); or on E-20 to E25, Brazil’s normal ethanol gasoline blend; on pure gasoline (though no longer available in Brazil since 1993, it is still used in neighboring countries); or just on natural gas. The Siena Tetrafuel was engineered to switch from any gasoline-ethanol blend to CNG automatically, depending on the power required by road conditions. Another existing option is to retrofit an ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle to add a natural gas tank and the corresponding injection system. This option is popular among taxicab owners in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, allowing users to choose among three fuels (E25, E100 and CNG) according to current market prices at the pump. Vehicles with this adaptation are known in Brazil as “tri-fuel” cars.
Flex-fuel hybrid electric and flex-fuel plug-in hybrid are two types of hybrid vehicles built with a combustion engine capable of running on gasoline, E-85, or E-100 to help drive the wheels in conjunction with the electric engine or to recharge the battery pack that powers the electric engine. In 2007 Ford produced 20 demonstration Escape Hybrid E85s for real-world testing in fleets in the U.S. Also as a demonstration project, Ford delivered in 2008 the first flexible-fuel plug-in hybrid SUV to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid, which runs on gasoline or E85. GM announced that the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, launched in the U.S. in late 2010, would be the first commercially available flex-fuel plug-in capable of adapting the propulsion to several world markets such as the U.S., Brazil or Sweden, as the combustion engine can be adapted to run on E85, E100 or diesel respectively. The Volt was initially expected to be flex-fuel-capable in 2013. Lotus Engineering unveiled the Lotus CityCar at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The CityCar is a plug-in hybrid concept car designed for flex-fuel operation on ethanol, or methanol as well as regular gasoline.
Major modifications of a FFV to gasoline powered vehicles are:
Adaptation of mixture formation and ignition to the respective fuels
Use of a sensor to determine the actual alcohol content in the fuel (alcohol sensor)
Alcohol-resistant materials in the fuel circuit (tank, fuel pump, fuel lines, injectors)
possibly special engine oils and material adjustments
While vehicles for gasoline-alcohol blended fuels or pure alcohol operation were developed and put into operation as early as the 1980s (mainly in Brazil), the development of FF technology began in the early 1990s, after suitable alcohol sensors became available. In the US, particularly in California, extensive fleet tests with the methanol fuel M85 (CEC’s Light-Duty Methanol Fuel Flexible Vehicle Demonstration Program) were carried out, in which the German car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen also participated. The latter also developed the first FFV for the US market and specifically for ethanol fuel E85, which subsequently joined the Illinois Corn Marketing Boardused for demonstration and test purposes. The operator wanted to motivate the domestic auto industry to develop such concepts.
Due to the foreseeable reduction in crude oil reserves and increasing environmental pollution, there has been a growing interest in FF technology worldwide for some years, but now with a focus on the use of bioethanol to reduce greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions.
A capacitive alcohol sensor suitable for FFV was developed by Siemens in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagendeveloped after the optical sensors had not proven because of system-related problems. This sensor measures the capacitance change, the conductivity and the temperature of the fuel and calculates the alcohol content, which is transmitted as a digital output signal to the control unit, so that the injection quantity and the ignition timing are adjusted according to the current fuel composition. Due to the lower calorific values of alcohols compared to gasoline, almost twice the fuel quantity per injection is necessary for M85 operation, about one third more for E85 operation; accordingly, the fuel system needs to be adjusted (fuel pump capacity, larger fuel tank, etc.).
Both methanol and ethanol fuel contain an addition of 15 percent special volatile hydrocarbons or in the simplest case gasoline (hence the designation M85 or E85). This addition is mainly used to improve the critical for pure alcohols cold start and cold running properties below about 15 ° C and for safety reasons, the shift of the upper explosion limits. This could lead to the ignition of fuel vapor in the tank with pure alcohols under certain conditions.
Today’s FFV are equipped with the latest technology for exhaust aftertreatment, for example with lambda control and vehicle catalytic converter as well as knock control. FFVs must comply with the valid emissions laws for petrol operation and the respective alcohol fuel M85 or E85 as well as for mixtures. Since azeotropic mixtures (fuel anomalies) form with increased vapor pressure at certain mixing ratios (for example with M35), this must be given special consideration with regard to emissions and driveability. In the US, therefore, are the measurements of the evaporative emissionsfrom the fuel system specifically prescribed with this critical fuel (SHED test). Furthermore, it has to be taken into account that increased aldehyde emissions (formaldehyde or acetaldehyde) occur during alcohol operation. For the critical health formaldehyde in the US, a limit is prescribed.
On the other hand, the low emissions of aromatics (benzene or toluene), of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, American PAH / PNA) and the smaller ozone formation potential due to the lower number of reactive non-methane organic gases (NMOG) components in the exhaust gas are advantageous. This ground-level “harmful ozone” (in contrast to the “useful ozone” in the stratosphere) is the main component of photochemical smog.
When evaluating different fuels, it is important to consider the CO2 -equivalent emissions of the entire chain, from the provision of primary energy to the combustion in the engine (well to wheel CO2 -equivalent emissions). According to the current state of knowledge, the following CO2 -equivalent emissions result from various studies compared to petroleum-based petrol:
for methanol from natural gas about 10% lower emissions (mean value) with a bandwidth of -10% / + 10% to the mean value
for methanol from cellulosic biomass about 70% lower emissions with a bandwidth of -10% / + 30%
for ethanol from starchy biomass about 5% higher emissions with a bandwidth of -50% / + 30%
for cellulosic biomass ethanol about 50% lower emissions with a bandwidth of -30% / + 30%
The sometimes large bandwidths are mainly due to different conversion technologies and energy supplies (keyword electricity mix) as well as the availability of different biomasses, which lead to a high proportion of CO2 -equivalent emissions, especially in fast-growing energy crops, fertilization and harvesting.
Flexible-fuel vehicles by country
Flexible-fuel technology started being developed by Brazilian engineers near the end of the 1990s. The Brazilian flexible fuel car is built with an ethanol-ready engine and one fuel tank for both fuels. The small gasoline reservoir for starting the engine in cold weather, used in earlier neat ethanol vehicles, was kept to avoid start up problems in the central and southern regions, where winter temperatures normally drop below 15 °C (59 °F). An improved flex motor generation was launched in 2009 and allowed to eliminate the need for this secondary gas reservoir tank. Another improvement was the reduction of fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions, between 10% to 15% as compared to flex motors sold in 2008. In March 2009 Volkswagen do Brasil launched the Polo E-Flex, the first flex fuel model without an auxiliary tank for cold start.
One of the latest innovation within the Brazilian flexible-fuel technology is the development of flex-fuel motorcycles. The first flex-fuel motorcycle was launched by Honda in March 2009, the CG 150 Titan Mix. In September 2009, Honda launched a second flexible-fuel motorcycle, the on-off-road NXR 150 Bros Mix. By December 2012 the five available models of flexible-fuel motorcycles from Honda and Yamaha reached a cumulative production of 2,291,072 units, representing 31.8% of all motorcycles manufactured in Brazil since 2009, and 48.2% of motorcycle production in 2012. Flexible-fuel motorcycle production passed the 3 million-unit milestone in October 2013. The 4 million mark was reached in March 2015.
Flexible-fuel vehicles were introduced in Sweden as a demonstration test in 1994, when three Ford Taurus were imported to show the technology existed. Because of the existing interest, a project was started in 1995 with 50 Ford Taurus E85 flexifuel in different parts of Sweden: Umeå, Örnsköldsvik, Härnösand, Stockholm, Karlstad, Linköping, and Växjö. From 1997 to 1998 an additional 300 Taurus were imported, and the number of E85 fueling grew to 40. Then in 1998 the city of Stockholm placed an order for 2,000 of FFVs for any car manufacturer willing to produce them. The objective was to jump-start the FFV industry in Sweden. The two domestic car makers Volvo Group and Saab AB refused to participate arguing there were not in place any ethanol filling stations. However, Ford Motor Company took the offer and began importing the flexifuel version of its Focus model, delivering the first cars in 2001, and selling more than 15,000 FFV Focus by 2005, then representing an 80% market share of the flexifuel market.
Biofuel cars in general get strong tax incentives in France, including a 0 or 50% reduction on the tax on new vehicles, and a 40% reduction on CO2 tax for new cars. For company cars there is a corporate car tax free for 2 years and a recovery of 80% of the value added tax (VAT) on E85 vehicles. Also, E85 fuel price is set significantly lower than diesel or gasoline, resulting in E85 at € 0.80, diesel at €1.15, and gasoline at €1.30 per liter, as of April 2007. By May 2008, France had 211 pumps selling E85, even though the government made plans for the installation of up to 500 E85 pumps by year end 2007. French automakers Renault and PSA (Citroen & Peugeot) announced they will start selling FFV cars beginning in the summer 2007.
Biofuel emphasis in Germany is on biodiesel, and no specific incentives have been granted for E85 flex-fuel cars, however there is complete exemption of taxes on all biofuels while there is a normal tax of €0.65 per liter of petroleum fuels. The distribution of E85 began in 2005, and with 219 stations as of September 2008, Germany ranks second after Sweden with the most E85 fueling stations in the EU. As of July 2012 retail prices of E85 was €1.09 per liter, and gasoline was priced at €1.60 per liter (for gasoline RON 95), then providing enough margin to compensate for ethanol’s lower fuel economy. Ford has offered the Ford Focus since August 2005 in Germany. Ford is about to offer also the Mondeo and other models as FFV versions between 2008 and 2010. The Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3 Biopower, the Peugeot 308 Bioflex, the Citroën C4 Bioflex, the Audi A5, two models of the Cadillac BLS, and five Volvo models are also available in the German market by 2008. Since 2011, Dacia offers the Logan MCV with a 1.6l 16v flexfuel engine.
Ireland is the third best seller European market of E85 flex-fuel vehicles, after Sweden and France. Bioethanol (E85) in Ireland is made from whey, a waste product of cheese manufacturing. The Irish government established several incentives, including a 50% discount in vehicle registration taxes (VRT), which can account for more than one third of the retail price of a new car in Ireland (around €6,500). The bioethanol element of the E85 fuel is excise-free for fuel companies, allowing retail prices to be low enough to offset the 25 per cent cut in fuel economy that E-85 cars offer, due to ethanol’s lower energy content than gasoline. Also, the value added tax (VAT) on the fuel can also be claimed back. E-85 fuel is available across the country in more than 20 of Maxol service stations. In October 2005, the 1.8 Ford Focus FFV became the first flexible-fuel vehicle to be commercially sold in Ireland. Later Ford launched the C-max and the Mondeo flexifuel models. Saab and Volvo also have E85 models available.
The first flexifuel vehicles were introduced in Spain by late 2007, with the acquisition of 80 cars for use in the Spaniard official government fleet. At that time the country had only three gas stations selling E85, making necessary to deploy an official E85 fueling station in Madrid to attend these vehicles. Despite the introduction in the Spaniard market of several flexifuel models, by the end of 2008 still persists the problems of adequate E85 fueling infrastructure, as only 10 gas stations were selling E85 fuel to the public in the entire country.
The UK government established several incentives for E85 flex-fuel vehicles. These include a fuel duty rebate on E85 fuel of 20 p per liter, until 2010; a £ 10 to 15 reduction in the vehicle excise duty (VED); and a 2% annual company car tax discount for flex-fuel cars. Despite the small number of E85 pump stations available, limited to the Morrisons supermarket chain stations, most automakers offer the same models in the UK that are available in the European market. In 2005 the Ford Focus Flexi-Fuel became the first flexible-fuel car sold in the UK, though E85 pumps were not opened until 2006. Volvo now offers its flexifuel models S80, S40, C30, V50 and V70. Other models available in the UK are the Ford C-Max Flexi-Fuel, and the Saab models 9-5 and 9-3 Flex-Fuel Biopower, and the new Saab Aero X BioPower E100 bioethanol.
Since 1998 a total of 17.7 million E85 flex-fuel vehicles have been sold or leased in the United States through the end of 2014. About 11 million flex-fuel cars and light trucks were still in operation as of early 2013, up from 7.3 million in 2008, 4.1 million in 2005, and 1.4 million on U.S roads in 2001. For the 2011 model year there are about 70 vehicles E85 capable, including sedans, vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks. Many of the models available in the market are trucks and sport-utility vehicles getting less than 20 mpg‑US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg‑imp) when filled with gasoline. Actual consumption of E85 among flex-fuel vehicle owners is limited. Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that in 2011 only 862,837 flex-fuel fleet-operated vehicles were regularly fueled with E85. As a result, from all the ethanol fuel consumed in the country in 2009, only 1% was E85 consumed by flex-fuel vehicles.
Barriers to widespread adoption
A 2005 survey found that 68% of American flex-fuel car owners were not aware they owned an E85 flex. This was because the exteriors of flex and non-flex vehicles look exactly the same; there is no sale price difference between them; the lack of consumers’ awareness about E85s; and also the initial decision of American automakers of not putting any kind of exterior labeling, so buyers could be unaware they are purchasing an E85 vehicle. Since 2008, all new FFV models in the US feature a bright yellow gas cap to remind drivers of the E85 capabilities and proper flex-fuel badging.
Flex fuel conversion kit
A flex fuel conversion kit is a kit that allows a conventional equipment manufactured vehicle to be altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane gas, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions, except those that are completed for a vehicle to run on electricity, must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
In 2008, Ford delivered the first flex-fuel plug-in hybrid as part of a demonstration project, a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid capable of running on E85 or gasoline. General Motors announced that the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, launched in the United States market in December 2010, would be flex-fuel-capable in 2013. General Motors do Brasil announced that it will import from five to ten Volts to Brazil during the first semester of 2011 as part of a demonstration and also to lobby the federal government to enact financial incentives for green cars. If successful, GM would adapt the Volt to operate on ethanol fuel, as most new cars sold in Brazil are flex-fuel.
As of December 2014, almost half of new vehicles produced by Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors are flex-fuel, meaning roughly one-quarter of all new vehicles sold by 2015 are capable of using up to E85. However, obstacles to widespread use of E85 fuel remain. A 2014 analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) found that oil companies prevent or discourage affiliated retailers from selling E85 through rigid franchise and branding agreements, restrictive supply contracts, and other tactics. The report showed independent retailers are five times more likely to offer E85 than retailers carrying an oil company brand.
In January 2007 GM brought UK-sourced Saab 9-5 Biopower E85 flex-fuel vehicles to Australia as a trial, in order to measure interest in ethanol-powered vehicles in the country. Saab Australia placed the vehicles with the fleets of the Queensland Government, the media, and some ethanol producers. E85 is not available widely in Australia, but the Manildra Group provided the E85 blend fuel for this trial.
As part of the North American auto market, by 2007 Canada had available 51 models of E85 flex-vehicles, most from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, including automobiles, pickup trucks, and SUVs. The country had around 1.6 million capable flex fuel E85s on the roads by 2014. However, most users are not aware they own an E85, as vehicles are not clearly labeled as such, and even though the newer models have a yellow cap in the fuel tank informing that the vehicle can handle E85, most users are still not aware because there are very few gas stations offering E85. Another major drawback to greater E85 fuel use is the fact that by June 2008 Canada had only three public E85 pumps, all located in Ontario, in the cities of Guelph, Chatham, and Woodstock. E85 fueling is available primarily for fleet vehicles, including 20 government refueling stations not available for the public. The main feedstocks for E85 production in Canada are corn and wheat, and there were several proposals being discussed to increase the actual use of E85 fuel in FFVs, such as creating an ethanol-friendly highway or ethanol corridor.
In March 2009 the Colombian government enacted a mandate to introduce E85 flexible-fuel cars. The executive decree applies to all gasoline-powered vehicles with engines smaller than 2.0 liters manufactured, imported, and commercialized in the country beginning in 2012, mandating that 60% of such vehicles must have flex-fuel engines capable of running with gasoline or E85, or any blend of both. By 2014 the mandatory quota is 80% and it will reach 100 percent by 2016. All vehicles with engines bigger than 2.0 liters must be E85 capable starting in 2013. The decree also mandates that by 2011 all gasoline stations must provide infrastructure to guarantee availability of E85 throughout the country. The mandatory introduction of E85 flex-fuels has caused controversy among carmakers, car dealers, gasoline station owners, and even some ethanol producers complained the industry is not ready to supply enough ethanol for the new E85 fleet.
In 2006 New Zealand began a pilot project with two E85 Ford Focus Flexi-Fuel evaluation cars. The main feedstock used in New Zealand for ethanol production is whey, a by-product of milk production.
Government officials and businessmen from Paraguay began negotiations in 2007 with Brazilian automakers in order to import flex cars that run on any blend of gasoline and ethanol. If successful, Paraguay would become the first destination for Brazilian flex-fuel car exports. In May 2008, the Paraguayan government announced a plan to eliminate import taxes of flex-fuel vehicles and an incentive program for ethanol production. The plan also includes the purchase of 20,000 flex cars in 2009 for the government fleet.
In 2006, tax incentives were established in Thailand for the introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel, by eliminating import duties and lowering excise taxes on CNG-compatible cars. Then in 2007, Thai authorities approved incentives for the production of “eco-cars”, with the goal of the country to become a regional hub for the production of small, affordable and fuel-efficient cars. Seven automakers joint in the program, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, Tata and Volkswagen. In 2008 the government announced priority for E85, expecting these flex-fuel vehicles to become widely available in Thailand in 2009, three years ahead of schedule. The incentives include cuts in excise tax rates for E85-compatible cars and reduction of corporate taxes for ethanol producers to make sure E85 fuel supply will be met. This new plan however, brought confusion and protests by the automakers which sign-up for the “eco-cars”, as competition with the E85 flex-fuel cars will negatively affect their ongoing plans and investments, and their production lines will have to be upgraded at a high cost for them to produce flex-fuel cars. They also complained that flex-fuel vehicles popular in a few countries around the world, limiting their export potential as compared with other engine technologies.
Comparison among the leading markets
Comparison of key characteristics among the leading ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle markets
|Type of flexible-fuel vehicle (fuel used)||E20 to E100||E85||E85||Brazil’s mandatory blend is E20-E25. Winter E85 is actually E70 in the US and E75 in Sweden.|
|Main feedstock used for ethanol consumption||Sugar cane||80% imported||Maize||In 2007, most Swedish ethanol was imported, with a high share from Brazil.|
|Total flex-fuel vehicles produced/sold||29.5 million||229,400||17.4 million(1)||Brazil as of June 2015, Sweden sales as of September 2013 and .U.S. fleet on the road as of December 2014.
The Brazilian fleet includes over 4.0 million flex fuel motorcycles.
USDOE estimates that in 2009 only 504,297 flex-fuel vehicles were regularly fueled with E85 in the US.
|Share of flex-fuel vehicles as % of total registered||22.0%||4.7%||4.0%||Brazil’s fleet is 64.8 mi (2010), Sweden fleet is 4.8 mi (2008),and US fleet is 248.5 mi (2009).|
|Ethanol fueling stations in the country||35,017||1,723||2,757||Brazil for December 2007, the US and Sweden as of August 2011.|
|Ethanol filling stations as % of total||100%||30%||1.7%||As % of total fueling gas stations in the country.|
|Ethanol fueling stations per million inhabitants||184.2||130.4||6.5||See List of countries by population. Brazil and US as of 2008-09-12, and Sweden as of 2008-06-30.|
|Retail price of E85 or E100 (local currency/unit)||R$ 1.259/L||SEK 8.79/L||US$2.60/gal||Selected regions:(2)São Paulo, June 2008, Sweden, January 2008, and Minnesota, August 2008.|
|Retail price of gasoline or E25. (local currency/unit)||R$ 2.385/L||SEK 11.99/L||US$3.70/gal||Prices in São Paulo (E25), June 2008. Sweden, January 2008, and Minnesota, August 2008.|
|Price economy ethanol/gasoline price as %||47.2%(2)(3)||26.7%(3)||29.7%(2)(3)||São Paulo, June 2008, Sweden January 2008, and Minnesota, August 2008.|
|Notes: (1)The effective number of E85 flex vehicles in US roads actually using ethanol fuel is lower than shown, as a survey have shown than 68% of E85 owners are not aware they own a flex-fuel vehicle. A 2007 national survey found that only 5% of drivers actually use biofuels. (2) Regional prices vary widely in Brazil and the US. The states chosen reflect some of the lowest retail prices for ethanol, as both São Paulo and Minnesota are main growers of feedstock and producers of ethanol, hence, the comparison presented is one of the most favorable for ethanol/gasoline price ratios. For example, US average spread was 16.9% in August 2008, and it varied from 35% in Indiana to 3% in Utah. (3) Brazilian gasoline is heavily taxed (~54%),US ethanol production was subsidized (a US$0.51/gal federal tax credit) until December 2011, and Swedish E85 is exempt of CO2 and energy taxes until 2009 (~30% price reduction).|
Source from Wikipedia