GM featured test drives in new Flex Fuel 2011 Buick Regal Turbos and GMC Terrains at the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) 2011 National Ethanol Conference and dozens of attendees took advantage of the opportunity. Pictured is RFA board member Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources West Burlington preparing to take a spin in a Regal Turbo.
I took a drive with Mark Maher, GM Executive Director for Powertrain and Vehicle Integration, to learn more about the company’s commitment to FFVs and what’s so new about the Buick Regal Turbo. “It’s got a 2.4 liter turbo-charged, E85 flex fuel vehicle engine and it’s also direct injected,” said Maher. “That helps with efficiency and it allows us to have a slightly higher compression ratio to improve efficiency. So, it’s a great match with high concentration ethanol fuels like E85 that are high octane.” Maher says 40 percent of GM vehicles were FFV, 45 percent this year, and they are hoping for 50 percent next year.
Maher had some great comments during his presentation to the NEC about E85 energy efficiency in FFVs and about the importance of not taking E85 for granted. “We need to make sure that ethanol gets credit for the CO2 reduction potential that it brings,” he explains.
Listen to or download my interview with Mark Maher here: Mark Maher Interview