Iowa Farm Bureau officials were in Grinnell over the noon hour to unveil plans for a motorcyle that’ll run on E-85 gasoline. The Farm Bureau asked Orange County Choppers, which has a popular TV show on the Discovery Channel, to build the machine.
Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang says it was the brainchild of his organization’s marketing department."We want Iowans to understand that when they purchase renewable fuels, especially E85, they do a number of things," Lang says. "Number one is that they displace our need for foreign oil. Number two is they leave nearly two-thirds of every dollar right here in the state of Iowa and it improves Iowa’s economy."
Lang, who admits he’s been teased because he doesn’t have a tattoo, has had weekly discussions with the Orange County Choppers folks ever since Farm Bureau staff dreamed up the idea. "Last week three of the celebrities of the show…came out to Iowa with a film crew," Lang says. They visited an ethanol plant near Nevada and a wind farm near Jefferson. "They were really fascinated," according to Lang. Jason, the guy who designs the bikes on Orange County Choppers, grew up in farm country according to Lang.
"Corn-growing country in Mendota, Illinois, and his father worked for Farm Service and always drove a pick-up — powered by ethanol," Lang says. Governor Chet Culver says that Iowa now has 62 ethanol pumps and 120 biodiesel pumps, and the "Join the Ride" campaign is intended to increase consumer consumption
Culver says the key is to move "this wonderful alternative fuel product" across the state and the country, but Culver says there are challenges to moving the product. Culver says public-private partnerships will help solve many of the challenges. All the ethanol and all the ethanol pumps in Iowa do no good without vehicles that burn E-85, called "flex fuel vehicles."
General Motors spokesman Mark Oberkircher says that’s where his company comes in. Oberkicher G-M has "a major committment to E-85 vehicles," with over two million flex-fule vehicles on the road and plans to expand purduction. The Renewable Energy Chopper will be officially unveiled June 24th at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. Ten dollar raffle tickets for the bike will be sold.