Students Driving Cross Country On E85

Chuck Zimmerman

ICARE Group in DCIn case you’ve wondered if you can drive across the U. S. on E85 fuel only the answer is “you can.” Some college students are doing just that as I write. I just spoke with Jim Richardson, Iowa Central Community College, and they’ll wind up in Des Moines tonight after starting out in Washington, DC yesterday morning. He said they had just done a few laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

I invited Jim to have the students send in daily reports to DomesticFuel that we can use here. I think it would be interesting to see their perspective on the trip and renewable fuels like ethanol. He thinks that after they get in tonight they can send us a report.

Here’s some more information about the trip they’re on:

Beginning on Monday, March 6, 2006, students from the Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) will begin a cross-country trip in a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel capability, demonstrating the possibility of coast-to-coast travel solely on E85, a mostly renewable fuel containing 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

The students, who are part of the Iowa Central Aggies for Renewable Energy (ICARE), and a chaperone, will start their voyage from Washington D.C., with a scheduled arrival in Los Angeles at noon on Saturday, March 11.

“This is a great demonstration of the increased awareness and availability of renewable fuels such as E85,” said Jim Richardson, lead coordinator and professor at Iowa Central Community College. “With automakers like General Motors producing an abundance of flexible-fuel vehicles, we can help boost our country’s agriculture industry, save the environment, and reduce our dependence on petroleum.”

The students are Tami Davis, Ashley Heflin, Alex Lundgren and Bradley Westrum – posing in the picture with RFA president Bob Dineen, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Conrad Burns of Montana.

Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles