[ad#post_ad]Tom Stephens is GM’s vice chairman for global product development and spoke Tuesday at the Renewable Fuels Association conference in Florida.
He told attendees that GM is spending $100 million each year to develop cars that are E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) or “flex-fuel” capable, and that “ethanol is the best near-term solution to displace petroleum.”
He said by 2012, half of the cars GM sells will be capable of running on E85.
The problem is, as Stephens sees it, there aren’t enough E85 pumps available to drivers.
“Today’s there’s 2,200 (ethanol fuel stations) that are out there but that’s not enough,” he said. “Two-thirds of the pumps are concentrated in 10 states and those 10 states have only about 19 percent of the flex-fuel vehicles that we have on the road.”
Stephens calls this discrepancy “a big problem for us.”
“GM is spending about $100 million a year adding flex-fuel capability to our vehicles. “We can’t afford to leave this capital stranded,” he added.
Stephens called for the installation of 10,000 additional E85 stations across America to “have ethanol fuel available for every one of our customers within about two miles of where they live.”
He said government intervention will be needed to achieve this goal.
“I think it would be very helpful if we could get government assistance,” he said. “But I really want the oil industry,…the government and…us to just work together to make ethanol a reality.”
With respect to the Volt, we also learn for the first time that the initial production run of the car will not be E85 capable.
“We are finalizing some of our options and the associated timing that goes with them,” said Volt executive Tony Posawatz. “The E85 capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon.”
“It will not be available for November 2010,” he confirmed.
This actually substantiates a rumor we first reported here in August of 2007.
According to Stephens, GM does eventually plan to introduce E85 capable Chevy Volts a year or so after production begins.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 7:19 am and is filed under Features, Fuel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.