Brazilian Flex Fuel Vehicle
In late September 2006, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., announced the development of a Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) system allowing gasoline engine-based power plants to operate on either 100 percent ethanol or most any mixture of gasoline and ethanol. While this concept is not new, the Honda FFV fuel system has advanced the technology to be more adaptive to varying fuel mixtures, and ambient temperature changes. FFV's made in the US are currently setup to run on straight E85, straight gasoline, or any ratio of both fuel types. Honda is introducing an FFV into the Brazilian automobile market tuned to run on a higher blend of ethanol - E20 to E100.
The ethanol fuel system is designed to monitor several operational aspects in order to provide the best possible performance. It will be available in both the Honda Fit and the Honda Civic and is tuned to achieve similar performance and economy from E100 as when using only petroleum based gasoline.
Ambient temperature is an important consideration when it comes to FFV performance. Low ambient temperatures can cause hard starting and performance. Cold temperature starting issues temperature related air fuel ratios can be resolved via a secondary, gasoline fuel tank. The new Honda ethanol fuel system adapts to varying ethanol gasoline ratios by estimating the concentration of ethanol in the fuel tank based on real time exhaust gas measurements.
Ethanol, also known as a biofuel, is made from feed stocks such as sugar cane and corn. Plants absorb CO2 via photosynthesis and release CO2 back into the atmosphere. Burning bioethanol fuel does not significantly increase atmospheric CO2 helping to promote ethanol fuel as an effective alternative to fossil fuel. Brazil has long been a leader in the use of sugar cane based ethanol as an alternative automotive fuel, whereas the United States currently utilizes corn as the dominant feed stock for producing ethanol.
- Honda Civic FFV & Honda Fit FFV
1 100% ethanol
2 22% ethanol mixture
Source: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.