Knowing what automobile makers what and need for fuel and how those companies are moving forward in their green energy programs is some good information for the recent attendees at last week’s American Coalition for Ethanol’s (ACE) “Unite and Ignite” conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
“We’re committed to supporting biofuels by providing a range of products that provide biofuel capability in line with consumer demand. And that is key,” explained Dominic DiCicco with Ford Motor Company during the conference session titled, Automaker Perspective: Outlook for Higher Ethanol Blends and Octane. He added that Ford is dedicated to green fuels, but there must be a payoff for Ford in the form of better car sales of the greener fuel vehicles. “Consumers need to recognize value in their vehicle purchases.”
He continued that limited market impact, or at least the perception of limited impact, of E85 is keeping consumers from moving toward the higher ethanol blend, and thus, keeping Ford from making more vehicles E85 compatible. He went on to explain how compression ratios and octane ratings affect an engine’s performance, and that is a big hurdle for ethanol producers and marketers to overcome. Dominic concluded that there needs to be better coordination between car makers, ethanol producers, government regulators and fuel retailers.
“We have to figure out where do we want to take this infrastructure and market moving forward,” Dominic said.
ACE members seem to be up to his challenge telling him, “You tell us what you need, and we will then partner with you to do that.”