Jump to content
storky

E-85 Conversion/Option for hybrid

Would an available E-85 Conversion kit or new vehicle option make hybrids more attractive?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Would an available E-85 Conversion kit or new vehicle option make hybrids more attractive?

    • Yes, I think it might enhance the efficiency and green credentials.
      4
    • Yes, anything to reduce oil dependency!
      4
    • No, it would diminish the efficiency - damage the green credentials.
      0
    • No, Hybrids are efficient (green) enough.
      1
    • No way, I'd never consider a Hybrid under any circumstance!
      0


Recommended Posts

If you've operated your Hybrid with E-85, please share your experiences. Did you experience better performance? What happened to your overall fuel economy? Aside from limited fuel availability, were there unforeseen issues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the one valid negative of e85 with hybrids is that the most in-efficient time to burn higher blends of ethanol is when the engine is cold, and during the start/stop cycle.  So the constant start/stop of a hybrid I would think would be playing against the nature of ethanol.  Maybe in a Volt where it was using electric power until the batteries were drained, then using e85/gas power to extend the range... would be better with fewer starts/stops...

 

Just my thoughts, no personal experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the one valid negative of e85 with hybrids is that the most in-efficient time to burn higher blends of ethanol is when the engine is cold, and during the start/stop cycle.  So the constant start/stop of a hybrid I would think would be playing against the nature of ethanol.  Maybe in a Volt where it was using electric power until the batteries were drained, then using e85/gas power to extend the range... would be better with fewer starts/stops...

 

Just my thoughts, no personal experience

 

This is my experience:

 

The ice will run continuous until the engine gets up to a certain temp, like 140°, then if you're at a stop, it may shut down, but will restart again with acceleration, unless you have a very light touch, which usually isn't fast enough to keep people behind you happy ;D . Any speed over 35-45 mph (depending on make, year) will be ice with electric assist or regenerative braking, depending on what's going on. The ice will not shut off unless below this speed. Also the cat and HV battery need to exceed a certain temp or the ice will run. Hybrids in the North, w/o battery warmers or heated garages, don't see a lot of EV (electric) mode in the winter, unless you drive for at least an hour to warm up that battery. You may still get ice shutoff at stop, but no electric assist.

 

Hybrids usually get about the same mileage at highway speed as non-hybrids. The primary benefit is the ice cutoff when decellerating or stopped (ie. city driving), where the rated mileage often exceeds highway mileage.

 

The Prius can be hacked to allow you to back out of the garage in EV mode only. Possibly the new Escapes have this, but I'm relying on something I read well over a year ago.

 

The ice stop'n start will start around 140° so for short trips, you may not exceed that, but short trips are a problem for any vehicle, esp ones fuels with e85, b/c it runs cooler. This stop'n start will prolong warm-up so keeping water out of the oil can be problematic during cold spells.

 

Certain events, again depending on make/year, like AC may result in the ice running continually, at least while the t-stat is calling for cold. Once the interior is cooled some vehicles may cycle the ice off.

 

Fun facts: If you're going to be stranded in the cold, a hybrid is the way to go as the ice will cycle on/off all night w/o user intervention, running just enough to maintain the above mentioned minimum coolant and cat temps. They also often have a built-in 110 vac outlet (mine is only 15 amps), which comes in handy camping or off road.

 

The 12 volt battery is often only used to power a few relays but is still required to start the vehicle, like a conventional engine. The HV battery is used to very quickly start the vehicle. A hybrid that hasn't been started for more than a couple months, may not start without intervention, b/c the HV battery may drop below the level required to start. Leaving headlights on for hours, isn't a problem tho.

 

Electric range with stock battery packs, is only a couple miles, unless you're driving down hill  ;D .

 

The HV battery will not charge much over 60% and the ice will run to keep it above a minimum charge, of about 40%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TD pretty much summed up the Ford Escape Hybrid Experience but the 2010 and newer versions have a slightly higher energy concentration per battery cell.  The software may be slightly different than his 2009 especially when one realizes the 2010 and newer run the air conditioning off the hybrid battery pack.

 

If I am not mistaken, the Prius has a hybrid battery state of charge range from 40-80% where as the Escape has 40-60%.  The Prius and Escape have similiar design foundations.

 

Since I recently added an E85 conversion kit to my 05 Escape, the ICE and radiator run cooler than on E10 or other low intermediate E-blends.  Since there is a certain temperature the ICE and radiator need to exceed for the vehicle to get into electric mode, then can we conclude it doesn't get into electric mode as fast as it would in E10?  I really don't care either way, just that I am using less oil and burning less carbon than before.  Now, can someone come up with a "USB type plug" that will advance your timing a few degrees when running E85?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can tweak some stuff by playing with the coolant or air temp sensors, but that's asking for trouble.

 

Yes, I was going to mention the electric ac compressor, but got sidetracked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on University of Michigan studies performed in 2004, I tried E-85 in my 2001 Toyota Prius in 2006. I diluted the fuel with E-10 to produce a 60% Ethanol blend to avoid triggering a "check engine" warning of a lean fuel condition. After installing an E-85 kit in 2010, I experienced the full increase in performance when running E-85 straight up (90hp using E-85 vs 74 hp using E-10) and the exhaust aroma is heavenly. But, since my fuel economy takes a 22% hit, E-85 prices must be at least that great an advantage or else I return to E-10 use.

 

Only recently has that price differential reappeared with stations within 3 miles of my common commutes. Previously I had to plan trips that took me as far as 18 miles from home to take advantage of reasonably priced E-85. Until 2010, even crappily priced E-85 fuel (regular -$0.10) was no closer than 7 miles from any commute.

 

I'm looking to pass my Prius on to my daughter when she graduates college in 2013. In the meantime, I exploring my next hybrid purchase. I'm not interested in SUV types of Hybrid large or small. I also want a plug-in hybrid so that limits me, I think, to the Toyota Prius Plug-In, Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi and the Chevy Volt.

 

My 6'5", 260 lb frame is poorly accomodated by the Volt so that leaves the Prius or the Fusion. To my knowledge, both Ford and Toyota have E-85 models but none in the hybrid lines and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Does anyone know if dealer installed E-85 kits are available? Otherwise I'd have to wait until the engine warranty expired before installing a 3rd-party E-85 conversion kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I installed a kit on mine. When I needed warranty work, I ran the tank low, added enough E10 to dilute to about E20/30 and removed the conversion (about 2 minutes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I installed a kit on mine. When I needed warranty work, I ran the tank low, added enough E10 to dilute to about E20/30 and removed the conversion (about 2 minutes).

 

Often, system failures do not offer one the opportunity to prepare for a service department visit. I would be the one with the misfortune of a failure shortly after a fill up. Once the kit was removed, the sensors would scream "LEAN FUEL!" Frickin' tattle tales!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...