How to Tell If Your Truck Is an E85 FFV
Federal law dictates that your truck's vehicle identification number (VIN) reveals whether or not it is an FFV. The simplest way to determine if your truck or SUV is E85 capable is to open the gas door and look on the inside for an E85 sticker. The second easiest method is to decode the VIN serial number. On all trucks, except Nissan, the eighth character (Nissan is the fourth character) indicates an FFV.
|* All Chevrolet and GMC fullsize trucks ||Z |
|* All Chevy S-10, GMC S-15, Izusu Hombre ||5 |
|* Dodge Ram, Dodge Durango ||P |
|* Ford F-150, Ford Ranger, Mazda B-3000 ||V |
|* Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer ||K |
|* Nissan Titan ||B |
Nissan Titan FFV... Where?
Nissan offers FFV Titans for 2006, but if you are interested in owning an FFV Titan, you will have to track it down. Nissan is distributing its E85-ready Titans to selected regions. All of the Titans in one of those regions will be FFVs, and all of the ones that aren't in those regions won't be. Did that make sense? It will be interesting to learn the effects, such as horsepower and torque gains, of the 105 octane fuel on Nissan's 5.6L 305hp engine.
By the way, the rumor Nissan moved from California to Tennessee to gain better access to E85 is false-escape from high taxes, maybe, but not to have better access to E85. California and Tennessee only have one publicly accessible E85 station for the entire state. Minnesota leads the nation with much more than 200 E85 stations, and it's still growing. Minnesota might a good place to look for a Titan FFV.
"Hooked On Hydrocarbons"
George W. Bush stated on the January 29, 2006, segment of Face The Nation that America is "hooked on hydrocarbons." The President and Bob Schieffer, the show's host, discussed our nation's need for energy independence. After the show aired, we were tempted to call George Dubya on his cell phone and hip him to E85, but we lost his cell number. On the serious side, if you would like to see E85 available in your state, contact your state representative at www.house.gov/writerep and express yourself-let us know how it goes.
Greenhouse Gas Relief for Flatulent Cows
Thanks to the National Academies, we discovered farm animals, cows in particular, are responsible for about 14 percent of the world's methane, a greenhouse gas. There are more than 1.4 billion cows in the world, each cow producing 600 liters of methane. In a year's time, one cow produces 90 kilograms of methane, equivalent to the energy in 30 gallons of gasoline. In addition to saying that cows are in a constant state of gaseous exuberance, it explains why dairy air smells so bad.
In 2003, New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark proposed a tax on flatulence released by cows. As cows burp and fart, they release methane, hence nitrous oxide is released from their steaming piles. New Zealand's farmers, depending on how many cows they owned, would have to pay from $300 to $10,000 in fart taxes. Things looked pretty bleak for New Zealand's farmers, as everything from bovine afterburners to rectally mounted methane capture devices were up for consideration-even discussions of genetic manipulation were held.
The pressure was due to New Zealand signing the Kyoto Agreement, trying to meet its obligations to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
In early December of 2005, British scientists discovered that by including a food supplement based on fumaric acid, they could reduce the methane output of cows by as much as 70 percent. It wasn't disclosed whether or not the British scientists acquired their bovine expertise dealing with more than 183,000 individual cases of Mad Cow disease. Curious about the effect fumaric acid might have on the flavor of cow meat, we Googled a search and discovered fumaric acid appears in foods ranging from tasty salads to Alpo.
As this goes to press, we were unable to confirm the percentage of fumaric acid currently present in cow meat or how much fumaric acid would be present in cow meat treated to reduce greenhouse gases by 70 percent. We'll keep you posted.