DETROIT, Mich., March 05, 2009 – In a break from other automakers, Ford Motor Co. is signaling its support for blending more ethanol with gasoline used by most cars and trucks–blends as high as 15% in the immediate future, according to an exclusive report in this week’s issue of Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert.
The surprising move by the automaker comes as a big boost to an economically pressured ethanol industry eager to expand market share, Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert says. Current law limits ethanol content to 10% — called an E10 blend — except for flex-fuel vehicles certified to run on up to 85% ethanol.
Ford’s views on biofuels are contained in a letter from Susan Cischke, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, to Jeff Broin, CEO of Poet, the nation’s largest ethanol producer. Broin is also the founder of Growth Energy, a new trade group representing ethanol interests in Washington.
In the letter, obtained exclusively by Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert, Cischke writes: “Ford endorses efforts to increase base-level blends up to E15 and collaborate with key stakeholders to overcome challenges with introducing these higher levels of ethanol in the base fuel blend used by all vehicles in the near term.”
“Based on our biofuels discussions, it is clear that Ford and Poet share a common vision to accelerate renewable fuel use,” she adds.
The move positions Ford, the only one of the Detroit Three automakers not asking for or receiving financial help from Washington, as a leader in the green fuels movement–a progressive company willing to get out ahead on the issue, Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert reports.
Automakers have long opposed higher blends in non-flex fuel vehicles because they don’t believe testing data is conclusive enough to convince them the blends won’t harm engine performance.
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