Flexible-fuel Vehicle

Flexible-fuel Vehicle

A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle (colloquially called a flex-fuel vehicle) is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel, usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel, and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. Modern flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by electronic sensors. Flex-fuel vehicles are distinguished from bi-fuel vehicles, where two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time, for example, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen.

The most common commercially available FFV in the world market is the ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle, with 27.1 million automobiles, motorcycles and light duty trucks sold worldwide through December 2011, and concentrated in four markets, Brazil (16.3 million), the United States (10 million), Canada (more than 600,000), and Europe, led by Sweden (228,522). The Brazilian flex fuel fleet includes 1.5 million flexible-fuel motorcycles produced since 2009. In addition to flex-fuel vehicles running with ethanol, in Europe and the US, mainly in California, there have been successful test programs with methanol flex-fuel vehicles, known as M85 flex-fuel vehicles. There have been also successful tests using P-series fuels with E85 flex fuel vehicles, but as of June 2008, this fuel is not yet available to the general public. These successful tests with P-series fuels were conducted on Ford Taurus and Dodge Caravan flexible-fuel vehicles.

Though technology exists to allow ethanol FFVs to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, from pure gasoline up to 100% ethanol (E100), North American and European flex-fuel vehicles are optimized to run on a maximum blend of 15% gasoline with 85% anhydrous ethanol (called E85 fuel). This limit in the ethanol content is set to reduce ethanol emissions at low temperatures and to avoid cold starting problems during cold weather, at temperatures lower than 11 °C (52 °F). The alcohol content is reduced during the winter in regions where temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) to a winter blend of E70 in the U.S. or to E75 in Sweden from November until March. Brazilian flex fuel vehicles are optimized to run on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100). The Brazilian flex vehicles are built-in with a small gasoline reservoir for cold starting the engine when temperatures drop below 15 °C (59 °F). An improved flex motor generation was launched in 2009 which eliminated the need for the secondary gas tank.

Read more about Flexible-fuel Vehicle:  Terminology, History

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List of Currently Produced Flexible-fuel Vehicles - United States
... Main article List of currently produced flexible-fuel vehicles in the United States. ...

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