Automotive Expert & Car-Talk Host Bobby Likis Weighs In on E15 and Engine Performance
Automotive industry expert & national broadcast Car Clinic host, Bobby Likis, is well familiar with engines as a still-practicing 40-year veteran of automotive service, a former rear-end dragster engine builder and a constant explorer of engine design & optimization.
As such, Likis applauds the first E15 station, aptly an “Oasis” station, in Lawrence, KS, whose E15 price board will show $1.15 per gallon at the formal grand opening of the E15 service tomorrow. Likis reflects, “Availability of E15 as a choice at the pump not only serves the American consumer and American economy, but also benefits the engines of today’s EPA E15-approved vehicles as an oxygenate, octane-booster and delivery mechanism of a higher density fuel charge which allows more torque.” Likis continues, “Moreover - and in my opinion, more important - the introduction of E15 accelerates the research, development & bringing to market of tomorrow’s vehicles whose engine designs will ‘grow’ to fill ethanol’s shoes.” Explains Likis, “Corporate Average Fuel Economy – or CAFÉ standards – mandated by Congress for increased fuel efficiency and decreased emissions will result in a de facto requirement that car makers architect engines that will capitalize – yes, thrive – on higher octane fuels like pure ethanol which weighs in at 113.”
In January this year, the EPA approved E15 – which is a blend of 15% ethanol / 85% gasoline – for cars, trucks and SUVs made since 2001. Likis expands, “For vehicles built before the 2001 model year whose engines were not designed to take advantage of E15 or E85 or any titration of ethanol above E10, it’s business as usual at the pump. Owners simply continue to pump the appropriate octane fuel at the station. E15 doesn’t ‘apply’ to those vehicles.” A misfueling mitigation plan, developed by the Renewable Fuels Association, and extensive pump labeling requirements by the EPA make it even easier for drivers to safely dispense the fuel optimal for each vehicle’s engine’s design.
On a mission to further his knowledge, Likis recently visited the Argonne National Laboratory in IL (a non-profit research laboratory whose operations are conducted by the University of Chicago for the Department of Energy) and Ricardo Engines(a global consultancy for engineering, technology, project innovation and strategy) outside Detroit. Chris Talwar, Ricardo’s Senior Director of Business Development, is right on board with Likis’s conclusions. Says Talwar, “Ricardo has been on the advancing frontiers of powertrain and vehicle systems technologies for ~100years. The move to a higher base E15 fuel is a step in the right direction. Tomorrow’s more power dense, highly downsized engines will have a natural thirst for octane. Ethanol is an enabler in that quest...and will facilitate in finding the ‘sweet spot’ for all stakeholders.”
E15 is the most rigorously tested EPA-approved fuel in history with over 6 million miles of testing by the Department of Energy. Likis sums it up, “That’s equivalent to 12 round trips to the moon. I’d say let the data speak for itself.”
About Bobby Likis: In collaboration with the Renewable Fuels Association, Likis launched an education automotive technician outreach, which includes a :60 vignette – “Calling All Technicians...20 Facts About Ethanol.” Likis is the only car-talk host on commercial radio named to the “Talkers 250,” the list of the top 250 talk-show hosts in America, for 5 consecutive years. Likis also owns & operates an award-winning automotive service facility. For more information about automotive expert Bobby Likis and the Car Clinic Network, visit http://www.CarClinicNetwork.com.