Why are consumers choosing to drive flex-fuel vehicles? Cost-savings is one reason, but a greener planet is another.

In a random poll of drivers at a flex-fuel gas station in Redwood City, Calif., reporter Laura Lane asked why they bought a vehicle that used E-85. Three noted that the flex-fuel option was not a factor in the decision to buy their car, but that they had grown to appreciate it over time. They were especially enthusiastic about the savings at the pump.

Most of the drivers also cited environmental reasons for their decision to buy an FFV. As one law enforcement officer declared, “I just figured if I’m going to drive one of these big old SUVs, at least I could do something that’s a little greener.”


Rebecca Medina (Photo credit: Laura Lane)

Rebecca Medina
Line of work: Massage therapist and new mother
Vehicle: GMC Yukon (FFV)
Reason for purchasing a flex-fuel vehicle: She was looking for a large family-sized car and chose one that happened to come with the FFV option.
Quote:  “(I like it that the) ethanol-blended fuel burns cleaner than regular gas.”


Phil Keho (Photo credit: Laura Lane)

Phil Keho
Line of work: Surgical technologist specializing in sports medicine
Vehicle: Chevy Tahoe (FFV)
Reason for purchasing flex-fuel vehicle:  An FFV helps lower the family’s carbon footprint. In addition, as a Navy veteran, he sees flex-fuel vehicles as useful in reducing dependence on foreign oil and possibly averting future wars over resources.
Quote:  “You don’t want your kids living on a poisoned planet.” 


Ron Childs
Line of work: Pipeline construction
Vehicle: Chrysler Ram 1500 (FFV), rented
Reason for renting a flex-fuel vehicle:  Childs received an environmentally friendly vehicle from his rental car company three years ago. After driving about 80 miles a day on the job, he’s grateful for the chance to help make up for the polluting emissions of the vintage Cadillac that he restored. He’s also willing to drive 20 minutes out of his way to fill up with flex fuel.
Quote: “I got lucky.”


Tony Loncar
Line of work: Federal Express courier
Type of FFV vehicle: Chevy Tahoe
Reason for buying a flex-fuel vehicle: Buying an FFV didn’t weigh into his decision.
Quote: “At first I wasn’t thinking about flex fuel. There weren’t many of these (FFV) stations around, but then I found this one. Now I fill up during my commute.”

Donn Lovell
Line of work: Law enforcement
Type of FFV vehicle: GMC Yukon
Reasons for buying a flex-fuel vehicle: Environmental and economic.  By his own estimate, Lovell can drive his GMC for less money, which is especially important because of the car’s low mileage.
Quote: “I just figured, if I’m going to drive one of these big old SUVs, at least I could do something that’s a little greener… It’s unfortunate that this is the only (flex fuel) gas station within 50 miles of here.”



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