Pros and Cons of Flex Fuel


Given the cost of energy and gas, there is no blaming you if you want to be more efficient. From finding ways to decrease your energy usage to purchasing a car with better gas alternatives, you have a number of choices if you want to have less of an impact on the environment around you.

Flex fuel vehicles are one way you can save on your energy usage. Also known as dual fuel vehicles, flex fuel vehicles use a combustion engine capable of working off of a mixture of different fuel types, including ethanol or methane. When combined with gasoline, a more efficient per mile car emerges. Lets review some of the basic pros and cons when it comes to flex fuel vehicles.

What Are the Pros of Flex Fuel?

1. The Environmental Impact
By substituting some of your gasoline for ethanol, you burn cleaner, releasing fewer chemicals into the atmosphere. In addition, ethanol does not increase the levels of green house gases, making it preferable to gasoline as a fuel choice.

2. Convenience
Flex fuel vehicles can burn any combination of ethanol and gasoline. With electric sensors that gauge the blend, the combustion chamber then sets itself to get the most out of the mixture you provide. This advantage means that you will not have to spend time carefully measuring out different amount of each fuel when filling up the tank.

3. Tax Incentive
There are flex fuel credits that you can get. Offered as a tax incentive to using flex fuel, you can save on the amount it costs to run and operate the vehicle.

What Are the Cons of Flex Fuel?

1. Uses Valuable Land In Production
Flex fuel uses ethanol to create a better engine. However, the ethanol has to be grown and processed, taking up valuable farmland that could be used for other purposes. These places could otherwise be used to grow animal feed or products for human consumption.

2. Expense
Ethanol does not provide the same level of fuel efficiency as gasoline. There are also not as many suppliers of ethanol for flex engines out there. The limited supply, lower fuel efficiency, and (occasionally) higher costs mean that it is not economically viable for many people willing to use it. The end result then is that flex fuel remains a good idea requiring additional infrastructure prior to wide spread adoption. Until then, it may continue to be marginalized as an additive to gasoline.