Plugging in your vehicle could have significant cost savings and reduce oil consumption and is even available in up to Class 7 medium duty trucks. While the market in mainly passenger vehicles an interesting niche for utility companies and electric work bucket trucks has evolved. Since bucket trucks often spend several hours idling a day they can burn more fuel idling as they do driving. One fleet of 40 electric vehicle bucket trucks saved $700,000 in fuel costs in 2011 alone.
Costs to drive the average electric vehicle is ~3 cents per mile verses the average gas powered vehicle being ~12 cents per mile. Projections show electric vehicle purchases to increase to 2.8% of auto sales in the US by 2019.
Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials, collectively known as “biomass. The use of ethanol is widespread — almost all gasoline in the U.S. contains ethanol in a low-level blend. Ethanol is also available as E-85 — a high-level ethanol blend — for use in flexible fuel vehicles.
Currently, E-85 is available in 47 states, both publicly and privately, continuing to open at a relatively quick pace, with one station opening on average, each day.
The largest factor causing the wide acceptance of E-85 is that ethanol is less expensive than gasoline. When you combine this with the facts that the government is pushing more gallons of renewable fuels into the marketplace and over 2M flex fuel vehicles are produced each year it is now wonder this is the fastest growing alternative fuel.
Next post we will dive into the smelly world of gas. Whether it is natural or auto its supply is never short.