1996 Ford Taurus Flexible Fuel (FFV) Vehicle Makes Sense
A Bunch of Maloney
By Bill Maloney
AUTO CENTRAL - April 26, 1996: Alternative fuels, FFV and electric vehicles are with us today and for the next several years because big brother has mandated that automakers invest in this technology and hope for cleaner air. It's really an exercise, albeit an expensive one, for the big three but they do have to go through the motions and attempt to clean up the atmosphere.
Fords entry into the clean air race is the Taurus FFV and there is a badge stating just that on each front fender. The car runs on corn...well the 85% ethanol originates from corn and when processed is mixed with unleaded gas and pumped out of a hose much like any other service station fuel pump and the pump costs 40 grand. The correct title for the ethanol based fuel is E-85 and that is how it will appear on the dispenser at your corner service station. Midwestern farmers are very happy as they envision millions of ethanol burning vehicles hitting the nations highways. Unfortunately, it probably won't be quite so lucrative because of the 15 million vehicles coming off the assmbly lines in 1996, only a few hundred will be powered by ethanol...and these for the most part will be fleet vehicles. Fleets owned by government agencies or companies wanting to brown nose Uncle Sam. But time will tell, so we'll have to see what transpires over the years.
The reason for Flexible Fuels is to reduce emissions and is a part of the global warming syndrome. Thes fuesl,like electrics reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Corn ethanol produces 24% more energy than it uses and it is higher in octane, plus it produces more horsepower and is more efficient than gasoline. The per gallon cost currently (in Iowa) is $1.32 per gallon. However finding a filling station can be a chore.
The FFV Taurus has a sticker price exactly the same as the no-ethanol powered car even though FFV is a $1600 piece of equipment.The car is powered by a 3.0 V-6 motor,has ABS,dual airbags,cruise,power seats and a 2-gallon larger than normal fuel tank,18 gallons. The retail is $20,560 which is not bad for a full sized five passenger car that runs clean,has pep and nice clean lines. We drove it 300 miles around Chicago and it did everything asked of it in an extremely quiet manner.