According to a friend of ours, the OnStar lady is a liar. She told him there were only six ethanol stations in Iowa, when apparently, there are around 45. Still, according to MarketWatch, there are only about 700 E85-dispensing petro-palaces in these United States, which works out to an average of fourteen per state. 206 of these are in Minnesota. Which then leaves a little over nine for every other state.
But the boosters are boosting and the corn lobby's in full effect, y'all. H sker D 's home state is trumpeting a 320% increase in Q1 E85 sales over last year. Meanwhile, we were chatting with Bumbeck at a Memorial Day 'Q on Sunday and he was in a tizzy about the propaganda of it all, opining that it's a technology that makes sense in some regions, but it's not going to work everywhere and it's not the panacea that everyone thinks it's going to be. Probably due to his love of turbochargers, he comes down the side of the diesel.
Meanwhile, the oil barons're pissed because they see the subsidies the stations are getting for moving to E85 and are crying foul. Meanwhile the environmental and energy analysis honcho at hybrid-humpin' Honda claims that "Biofuels are promising and can replace some fuel use, but even development of cellulosic ethanol only has the potential to displace, at most, 10% to 20% of the world's oil demand."
Our opinion of General's corn-husking push is that it was a cheap move that they could back with marketing dollars, seeing as they currently don't have a viable hybrid, their economy cars currently mostly suck, their fuel-cell work — while admirable — is still a ways from fruition and their passenger car diesels won't pass emissions in the States.
Squeeze play for ethanol [MarketWatch]
Tom LaSorda Jets to Brazil: Chrysler Group Head on Biofuels [Internal]