You may be driving around in a vehicle that could use alternative fuels, and not even know it. DNR fuel-price analyst David Downing says even dealers sometimes are unaware the cars are on their lots. He says there are people who own a car that could use 85-percent ethanol fuel and don’t even know it, he says, explaining many now use 10-percent ethanol. Downing says if you own a car that can burn E-85, you can take good advantage of Iowa’s locally produced alcohol fuel. Most will have a sticker noting it’s an “alternative-fuel” vehicle, and Downing says a lot of Chevy S-ten pickups, Dodge Caravans and Ford Tauruses have that capability. Downing says the car’s computer will automatically adjust to the 85-percent ethanol fuel.It’s 85 percent corn based, made here, and displaces foreign fuel, something people have been thinking about since September eleventh. Look for a sticker that says “alternative fuel,” check your owner’s manual, or have the dealer check to see if your vehicle can take the alternative fuel. And Downing says there are two major manufacturers putting out consumer cars that can use either gas or electricity. They had a couple at the state fair and he thinks the Toyota was particularly good, and workers who take them from the state’s fleet of vehicles like driving them. The Honda’s smaller, gets better mileage, and resembles a Camry, he says. But you don’t have to “go electric” to use alternative fuel. Downing says it’s sold in at least eight towns around Iowa, and will be more widely available as demand grows.
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