The iconic HUMMER H2 is known for going where no other four wheel drive will venture. The model breaks new boundaries for 2009 with standard E85 Flexpower capability on every H2 sold, making it the only model of its kind with can run on E85 ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two fuels.E85, which consists of up to 85 percent ethanol mixed with gasoline, is a cleaner-burning, higher-octane fuel that can help offset rising demand for oil.
GM is the global leader in producing flexible-fuel vehicles. In the USA, more than 3 million of the 7 million flexible-fuel vehicles on the road are GM cars and trucks. GM is committed to making half of its vehicles FlexPower capable by 2012.
How It Works:
E85 ethanol vehicles are designed to run on ordinary gasoline, E85 ethanol or any mix of the two. Every flexible fuel vehicle has an engine control module that helps to identify which fuel or mixture is running through the vehicle's system. Based on that information, the fuel system automatically adjusts itself to run on that fuel mixture.
Ethanol is an alcohol which can be distilled from a number of sources, ranging from renewable crops such as sugar cane, to biomass or waste materials. Particular emphasis is being paid to the need to utilize sources that do not affect the price of third-world food commodities.
For example, GM is the leading automotive investor in developing E85 ethanol made from waste wood collected as part of forest wildfire prevention programs. Undergrowth and dead trees that would otherwise be burned are converted into the ethanol.
In addition to reducing dependence on non-renewable petroleum resources, E85 ethanol helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can reduce smog-forming carbon exhaust emissions.
“Using biofuels, specifically E85, is the most significant thing we can do in the near-term to offset rising future energy demands” says Beth Lowery, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. ““We believe ethanol used as a fuel, not just as a gasoline additive, is the best near-term alternative to the surging global demand for oil because ethanol is renewable and it significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to gasoline. Best of all, it is available today.”
Over Two Decades of Development
After working alongside ethanol producers to develop fuel formulations to provide optimum performance in vehicle engines, GM began promoting ethanol more than two decades ago. It was the first manufacturer to enable its entire U.S. fleet to operate on E10, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol.
Globally, GM has about 5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road in the USA, Canada, Europe and Brazil. About 3.5 million are capable of operating on up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). GM currently produces more than 1 million E85 capable vehicles a year globally.
The latest developments that have enabled the H2 to run on E85 ethanol are being carried on to other vehicles in the HUMMER line. The H3 will become E85 capable later in 2009 and in addition, a four cylinder turbo diesel engine is being developed for the H3.
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