Honda Hits the Road with Flex-Fuel Bike

Honda has introduced the world’s first flex-fuel motorcycle. No surprise, the CG150 Titan Mix, is being sold by a subsidiary of Honda in Brazil, a country that really leads the world in biofuels production.

hondatitanmixThis article from Gizmag.com has details:

The 150cc motorcycle is equipped with a Mix Fuel Injection System, a newly developed fuel supply and fuel injection control system that enables consumers to use a flexible mixture of environmentally-responsible bio-ethanol and gasoline fuels, hence reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.

In Brazil, penetration of flexible-fuel technology is well advanced, and approximately 90% of new automobiles sold there are equipped with flexible-fuel technology. As the first flex-fuel motorcycle, the BRL 6,340 real (USD$2700) CG150 TITAN MIX looks certain to grab a hug chunk of the market, and Honda expects to sell in excess of 200,000 units a year – approximately 10% of the market – in the first year. In 2008, Honda sold approximately 1.326 million motorcycles in a market with 1.91 million units.

Blend Labels Now Available Through the NEVC

NEVC E40Many fuel retailers have begun offering blends between 10 percent and 85 percent ethanol for flexible fuel vehicles. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) now has available E20, E30 and E40 labels for retailers to use for their blending pumps.

NEVC E40These labels are offered at a member rate and non-member rate. The coalition also offers the mandatory pump labeling for these blends. Besides blend pump labels, the NEVC offers a complete “pump imaging package” for E85 fueling stations. A listing of all items offered for pump labeling can be found by clicking here.

NEVC Attends Commodity Classic

commodclassic_nevcboothThe National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) attended the 2009 Commodity Classic last week in Grapevine, Texas. The group has attended the event for more than ten years promoting E85 and flexible fuel vehicles. This was my tenth Commodity Classic attendance on behalf of the NEVC.

Phil Lampert, my Executive Director, NEVC Membership Director Haley Wansing and I met with many of the state corn grower groups to inform them of our successes and what our outlined plans are for the future. NEVC Vice-Chairman and Ohio Corn Growers Executive Director Dwayne Siekman said, “The Commodity Classic is an important time for policy development for the Ohio Corn Growers Association and we often confer with partnering organizations for background information. Without groups like the NEVC and their knowledge on higher ethanol blends and updates on certification of dispensing equipment, the policy development process may not be complete.”

commodclassic_nevcbooth2As part of the NEVC staff, I was pleased to see such an intense interest from every state on ethanol policy. Our group appreciates the support of the National Corn Growers Association and each of our fourteen corn grower state organizations.

The NEVC also sponsored a booth in the Commodity Classic’s exhibition hall. Displayed were two flexible fuel vehicles: a 2009 FFV King Ranch F-150 and a 2008 FFV GM Silverado (provided by CleanFUEL USA). I believe the attendees enjoyed seeing the FFV options that Ford and GM have available for use on their farms.

IL Corn to Sponsor Clean Snowmobile Team

sae-clean-snowmobileThe 2009 Northern Illinois University (NIU) Clean Snowmobile Team will be competing in the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge. The team will be sponsored by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB). This year’s competition’s theme will be “Flex Fuel” and NIU’s snowmobile will run on ethanol.

SnowmobileThe annual SAE Challenge began in 2000 and tests the engineering and design capabilities of students from schools across the country. The “challenge” of each competition has been for students to modify a stock snowmobile to meet a series of requirements, including air pollution levels.

NIU ran their snowmobile last year on E85, and won 6th place overall and rookie of the year. This year’s competition will be held March 16-21 at Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan.

Oil Company Enters their E85 Model in Sexiest Tractor Competition

e85-tractorBlodgett Oil Company recently entered a competition to see if their painted “E85 Tractor” entry could win as the “sexiest tractor” at a local Red Cross Tractor Races Fundraiser.

As a Red Cross Tractor sponsor, Blodgett Oil paid $100 and received a cut-out of a plain plywood tractor to decorate in any way they wished. “We chose to promote our E85 product. Our maintenance guy Carl, did a wonderful job!” said Nancy Beckwith, vice president of Blodgett Oil Company. The company owns numerous E85 stations in Michigan.

e85-tractor2About twenty tractors were entered in the competition. During the race, the tractors were moved along a board game like space in a large banquet room, with the attendee’s betting on who will win the race. Whoever had the most bets, won the race. Attendees also betted on the “Sexiest Tractor”.

Unfortunately, Blodgett Oil’s tractor did not win this year’s “Sexiest Tractor” award, but Beckwith said that her company had a blast with our E85 Ethanol tractor appearance which at one time was announced as “the Corn Mobile”.

The “Top Money Winner” tractor was: Primerica Financial Services, owned by Art and Nancy McClintic of Alma, Michigan and voted “Sexiest Tractor” for the second year in a row was: Alma Pontiac Buick GMC, Alma, Michigan.

All money raised was donated to the local Red Cross.

Posted in E85

K-State Students Take Flex-Fuel Challenge

RFA Flex Fuel ChallengeManhattan, KS looked more like Manhattan, NY yesterday as cars were lined up to get E85 for just 85 cents a gallon and E10 for only a dollar, plus a free lunch at the Manhattan Farmers Cooperative Association.

Hundreds of hot dogs and thousands of gallons of ethanol-blended fuel were given away to Kansas State college students at the “Wildcat Free-For-All,” sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association and the Kansas Corn Commission to launch the Flex-Fuel Challenge, an online national contest to promote E85.

RFA Flex Fuel Challenge“We were very happy with the event. Many students learned of the opportunity via Facebook and email, and this is exactly what this contest is about, educating students where they spend there time – online,” reported Robert White, Director of Market Development for the RFA.

The challenge encourages them to produce a short video, take a photo, or even write a song about creative ideas on renewable energy that will impact future generations. The overall winner will receive a MacBook Air laptop and each week there will be drawings for portable Passport™ hard drives.

Find out more at e85challenge.com.

Take the Flex-Fuel Challenge

Young people all over the country are encouraged to take the Flex-Fuel Challenge and help pave the way for our nation’s renewable energy future.

RFA e85The Renewable Fuels Association is kicking off the initiative today at Kansas State University and unveiling a new website, e85challenge.com to get college students engaged in the debate surrounding issues that impact their future: the economy, energy and the environment.

The challenge encourages them to produce a short video, take a photo, or even write a song about creative ideas on renewable energy that will impact future generations. Robert White, Director of Market Development for the Renewable Fuels Association, says the most creative of those entries can win some nice prizes. “Their own peers will decide who wins,” said White. “The overall winner will receive a MacBook Air laptop and each week we will be giving away a portable Passport™ hard drive in a drawing.”

White says they will be promoting the challenge during appearances at the top 15 college campuses nationwide, but anyone can enter on-line.

Listen to an interview with Robert here, conducted by Domestic Fuel reporter Joanna Schroeder at last week’s Commodity Classic:

Free Ethanol and Lunch for Kansas State Students

It certainly pays to be a Kansas State Wildcat this coming Monday, as students will get a FREE tank of E85 or E10 ethanol and a free lunch when they show their student ID at the Manhattan Farmers Cooperative. Plus, you could win an computer or a new hard drive.
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The “Wildcat Free-For-All,” sponsored by the Kansas Corn Commission, the Renewable Fuels Association and Farmers Cooperative Association, takes place from 11am – 1pm.

If you’re not a student, you can still get a tank full of E85 for just 85 cents a gallon or E10 for only a buck! And that free lunch of hot dogs, chips and drinks is also for everyone.

e85challenge1While you’re filling up, take part in a 30-second video contest and be eligible to win an Apple Macbook or one of several 500GB Passport hard drives. Contest details are available at e85challenge.com.

Once again, don’t forget… Monday March 2, 2009 at the Manhattan Farmers Cooperative, 3384 Excel Road, Manhattan, Kansas, from 11am – 1 pm.

Free gas, free food, free computer stuff… what more could a college student want or need?

TDOT to Give Money for E85 and B20 Infrastructure

tdotIn 2006, Tennesse Governor Phil Bredesen allocated $1.5 million to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to develop a Biofuel Green Island Corridor network along Tennessee’s interstate system and major highways. TDOT has recently opened a solicitation for grant funding to assist in converting or installing fuel storage tanks and equipment to dispense B20 and E85 to the public.

The goal of the Green Island program is to help establish readily available “green island” refueling stations for B20 biodiesel and E85 ethanol no more than 100 miles apart along these corridors. This competitive grant program seeks to identify partner retail stations in areas where reasonably accessible and convenient retail biofuel stations are not in place. A minimum of 20 percent in nonfederal matching funds is required.

A statewide network of biofuel stations will encourage and expand the use of biofuels in Tennessee, which in turn will stimulate rural economic development, increase farm income, reduce vehicle emissions, help protect public health, and reduce dependence on petroleum.

Potential E85 and B20 retailers can view the solicitation by clicking here. Sumission is due by April 17, 2009.

Underwriters Laboratory Allows E15 in Gasoline Pumps

ulUnderwriters Laboratories (UL) released a press statement on February 19 noting that it will allow up to fifteen percent ethanol in gasoline dispensing units. The press release said that they support Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) who decide to permit legacy system dispensers, Listed to UL 87 and currently installed in the market, to be used with fuel blends containing a maximum ethanol content of 15%.

UL stresses that existing fuel dispensers certified under UL 87 were for intended use with ethanol blends up to E10, which is the current legal limit for non-flex fuel vehicles in the United States under the federal Clean Air Act. However, data the company has gathered as part of the organization’s ongoing research to investigate the impact of using higher ethanol blends in fuel dispensing systems supports that existing dispensers can be used with ethanol blends up to 15%. AHJs are advised to consult with the dispenser manufacturer to confirm that the dispenser is compatible with the fuel to be dispensed.

UL researchers found that using equipment certified to UL 87 to dispense ethanol blends with a maximum ethanol content of 15% should not result in critical safety concerns. However, the company stressed that dispensers pumping this higher percentage of ethanol should be subject to regular inspection and preventative maintenance as specified by the dispenser manufacturer for the blend of fuel being dispensed because the potential for degradation of the metals and materials (e.g., plastics, elastomers and composites) used in a dispensing system increases as the percentage of ethanol increases.

“UL determined that there is no significant incremental risk of damage between E10 and fuels with a maximum of 15% ethanol. This conclusion was reached after careful examination of the effects of varying levels of ethanol on components,” said John Drengenberg, Consumer Affairs Manager for UL. “We will continue to evaluate test and field findings, as well as the scientific literature, as it becomes available and make this information available to AHJs.”

“UL continues to support technological advancements, while protecting safety. That is why we have invested resources and effort that go far beyond any business benefit UL might gain from this work to support the ethanol industry’s desire to have safety certification requirements established for E85 fuel dispensers,” said Drengenberg.