California spends $17 million on E-85 biofuel vehicles but have no biofuel depots

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California spends $17 million on E-85 biofuel vehicles but have no biofuel depots

Hows this for pandering to greenies and the politically correct without a coherent plan of what they are doing?

In 2005, California bought a fleet of 1,138 Chevrolet Impalas and Silverado trucks designed to run on E-85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline for $17 million.

The trouble is, California has no filling stations that sell E-85.

No such stations were scheduled to open until 2009. In the interim, according to the San Jose Mercury News, the "flex-fuel" vehicles traveled a collective 10 million miles and burned more than 413,202 gallons of ordinary gasoline.

It gets even sillier. The Impalas replaced smaller, more fuel-efficient Ford Focuses so that, in the words of the Mercury News, "the flex-fuel vehicles are actually chugging out more smog and greenhouse gases than many vehicles in the state's old fleet — as much as 2,000 tons annually."

On orders from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state's General Services Department has called for bids to open an ethanol station a few blocks from the state capitol. However, the corn needed for California refineries to make ethanol has to be hauled in from the Midwest, most of it on diesel-powered trains or trucks, further negating any clean-air benefit.

Said Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute: "This is about California politicians wanting to be leaders in alternative energy. They just jump on whatever is sexy."
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2007

You are missing two very important points to this whole fiasco:

1) The proper friend/relative of the right politicians made money by selling the cars to the state.

2) The Bugs-n-Bunnies coalition feels all warm and fuzzy about themselves, regardless of the actual outcome. They feel good about themselves as long as they are doing something to show that they care more than everyone else.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 18-7-2007

Now now......lets not jump to conclusions....this was in todays Mercury News

Flex-fuel program just one part of California's green strategy
By Linda Adams and Rosario Marin
Article Launched: 07/18/2007 01:33:01 AM PDT

Today, state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Bakersfield, is holding a hearing on California's purchase of "flex-fuel" vehicles, which can run on either ethanol or gasoline. The hearing is in response to recent claims that the state's fleet of flex-fuel cars under-utilize ethanol and pollute more than the gasoline-only vehicles they replace. However, these are misleading claims that need to be viewed in the larger context of everything Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing to increase the availability of clean fuels.


Last year, the governor signed legislation to provide $25 million for alternative fuel projects in California, with $5.6 million dedicated to installing E85 public fueling stations. And the state is using a federal Department of Energy grant to assist in the funding of 15 publicly available ethanol fueling stations statewide. Currently, there are 130 compressed natural gas and 23 hydrogen fueling stations throughout California that are accessible to state-owned vehicles. Thirty to forty E85 fueling stations are planned for the state, and the fleet can gain access to each.
By Venus: posted on 19-7-2007

Ok, the point still remains the same.
The flex-fuel cars are burning regular fuel. They are less efficient at that than the cars they replaced.
The natural gas and hydrogen stations have nothing to do with E-85, therefore they are not relevant to the cars.
E-85 stations are planned but not a reality, yet. As far as the fleet "gaining access" to the stations once they are open, if they have to drive miles out of the way to "gain access" it is still a typical bureaucratical SNAFU.
Horses do much better when they are in front of the cart. :)
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 19-7-2007

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