The Future Is Now

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cars that run on beer, bitches.


The jokes about tipsy conventioneers aside, it's a sobering fact that flex-fuel vehicles are in America's future. So it's no joke that the Democratic National Convention, General Motors and the Molson Coors Brewing Co. have joined forces to ensure that convention VIPs will ride in GM vehicles fueled with ethanol that comes, in part, from beer.
Yes. The party that gives you Barak Obama also gives you cars that run on beer. Mr. Obama...can we have cars that run on beer?

Yes. We. Can.

Now, I will say that I am dismayed that there is enough "waste beer" every year to produce 3 million gallons of fuel to run in GM's flex fuel vehicles. Get on the ball, people. But at the very least, if wine snobs and liquor-only drinkers won't chip in and help us consume every drop of beer every year, I guess this is the next best alternative than just dumping it down the drain.

I am a little concerned about what these cars'...ahem...exhaust will smell like.

20 comments:

steves 9:22 AM  

Ethanol has driven up the cost of corn, so this will drive up the cost of beer. We should develop a fuel that I don't use or need, like making a car that runs on tobacco or wine.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 10:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 10:04 AM  

It is more likely the rising cost of transportation, due to the increase cost of petroleum is much more responsible for the increased cost of food, not ethanol production. Additionally, many fertilizers are petroleum based, as is the packaging, so the increase use of ethanol, is not to blame for the increase in food prices.

The best thing about E-85, even though corn-based, is not the use of corn, but the fact that the infrastructure is now being put in place that will be able to take on cellulosic ethanol as it become available. Cellulosic is cheaper to make, burns cleaner and uses waste wood products as its base. There is a huge cellulosic plant being built in the U.P. and GM is investing heavily in cellulostic ethanol technology.

There used to be this chicken or the egg thing going where no one would build the cars to burn ethanol because there wasn’t the infrastructure to sell it and no one would install the infrastructure because there were no cars to burn the stuff. With flex fuel cars being built and stations willing to sell E-85, it is becoming a viable alternative.

Smitty 10:07 AM  

Annnnnnnd...Bob is the first one to make this all serious. ;)

I wonder if this is one more step towards the Back To The Future car that ran on food waste. Remember that?

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 10:22 AM  

Actually I have been hoping that Congress would legislate a flying car that runs on childrens's laughter and kitten farts. If they legislate it, it will be technologically possible right?

B Mac 12:25 PM  

Will the octane ratings of gasoline be replaced by the Beer Advocates or RateBeer ratings?

"This high performance automobile performs best with premium fuel. A minimum rating of 96 should be used at all times, though a 99 rating (such as a Dogfish Head 90 Minute) is recommended"

Or

"I've only got $2.73... fill'er up with Beast Light"

George 1:15 PM  

If it can run on Coors Light there'd finally be a use for that swill.

Sopor 2:33 PM  

But Bob, don't we still have the problem of the amount of energy/fossil fuels used to grow a set amount of Corn is larger than the energy we can get from burning the ethanol from the same amount of Corn?

I think I've said it before... but I'm still a bigger fan of Bio-Diesel made from hemp. The infrastructure for Diesel has been there for years, and a Diesel automobile has the potential to get 66% better fuel economy than a similarly powered gasoline car. Then add to that the fact that Diesel automobiles can be converted to run on Vegetable Oil, even used fryer grease, and we can solve multiple problems at once!

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 2:53 PM  

Sopor-

While Smitty has discouraged me from having any serious conversations on this thread, I will respond to you anyway. Unlike Smitty, I choose not to be rude.

"But Bob, don't we still have the problem of the amount of energy/fossil fuels used to grow a set amount of Corn is larger than the energy we can get from burning the ethanol from the same amount of Corn?"

From what I understand that may have used to be true, but today’s corn-based ethanol has a 1 to 1.6 energy-in, to energy-out ratio. More importantly, cellulosic has many times the energy output of corn ethanol and burns cleaner, so it is probably the best alternative to petroleum. From what I understand, the process that GM has developed with Coskata in Pennsylvania uses some new techniques to use very little water and create a high-energy cellulosic ethanol that can use many sources of plant material for the base.

The real benefits will be when there are good enough ethanol distribution systems that will allows cars to be built for ethanol only, instead of flex-fuel. When that happens, engines can be optimized for ethanol and get better mileage.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 3:01 PM  

So the real question on this thread is, will Democrats ride in cars powered by fuel made by the COORS family?

Smitty 3:04 PM  

Bob:

Cry me a river. You're no longer "Chief Beer Advocate." You're now Serious McLiteral.

Smitty 3:06 PM  

will Democrats ride in cars powered by fuel made by the COORS family?

Hypocrites.

Rickey Henderson 3:09 PM  

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride indeed. That car just looks awesome.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 3:53 PM  

Cry me a river. You're no longer "Chief Beer Advocate." You're now Serious McLiteral.

Damn. I feel demoted.

Oh well. If that’s the case I will take everything in this blog seriously and be the self-appointed contrarian.

Smitty 4:00 PM  

I will take everything in this blog seriously and be the self-appointed contrarian

And that's different from your normal course of action...how?

I keed, I keed.

Bob "Serious McLiteral" 4:01 PM  

"And that's different from your normal course of action...how?

I saw that comment coming.

steves 4:30 PM  

will Democrats ride in cars powered by fuel made by the COORS family?

Hypocrites.


Wouldn't be the first topic. ; )

Uh uh, now Serious McLiteral or Captian Contrarian will get after me.

Smitty 4:48 PM  

Wouldn't be the first topic. ; )

Won't be the last either.

Sopor 7:36 PM  

Well Bob... I've more than once been accused of being the most literal humorless SOB this side of the Mississippi. So I'm just glad it's not me ;-)

Bob "Serious McLiteral" 7:31 AM  

"'Hypocrites.'

Wouldn't be the first topic. ; )

Uh uh, now Serious McLiteral or Captian Contrarian will get after me."

Actually, unfortunately, I have to agree with you. Dammit.

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