A dual-fuel vehicle or flexible-fuel vehicle also known as flex-fuel vehicle is a category of a vehicle running on alternate fuel, that has an internal combustion engine which is designed to function on more than two kinds of fuel, generally gasoline mixed with either methanol or ethanol fuel, and both of the fuels are kept in a common tank. Nowadays modern flex-fuel vehicle engines are capable of burning any percentage of the resulting mixture of gasoline with ethanol or methanol in the combustion chamber and spark timing and fuel injection are adjusted spontaneously according to the authentic blend of both fuels detected by an added fuel mixture composition sensor. Flex-fuel vehicles have notable difference from bi-fuel vehicles, where two different kind of fuels are stored two separate tanks and the engine only operates on one fuel at a time.
Flex fuel vehicle are fitted out with reformed components designed specifically to be companionable with ethanol’s chemical properties. These alterations ensure seamless operation and a long advantageous life across a wide range of ethanol blends
Ethanol also known as ethyl alcohol, is a clean-burning, high-octane motorized fuel that is created from crops such as corn barley or wheat. Sugar beets, sugarcane or sweet potatoes can also be used. Just because it is natively produced, ethanol helps reduce our reliance upon foreign oil. As of January 2007 the government of Ontario has authorized that all gasoline sold in the province must have an average of 55 percent ethanol. It does not require a special vehicle to run on ethanol. All vehicles produced since 1980 are ethanol vehicles said to be capable of using up to ten percent ethanol with no alterations to the engine. Because pure ethanol has an octane rating of hundred and thirteen, adding ten percent ethanol to gasoline raises the finished fuel's octane rating by two to three points. E85 diminishes harmful hydrocarbon and greenhouse gas emissions and is the highest performance fuel one can purchase with its octane rating of at least hundred and five without the use of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MBTE) which is being phased out because of ground water contamination
Special features permitting vehicles to run on E85 fuel can add a negligible cost to their purchase price. Because they have a firm performance history, manufacturers deliver standard warranties for flex fuel vehicles equivalent to a normal gasoline vehicles at no added charge.
The major driver influencing the flex fuel vehicle market are depleting natural sources of gasoline along with rising vehicle emission norms.
The market can be segmented into two broad categories. By vehicle type and by fuel type. By vehicle type, the flex fuel vehicles market can further be segmented into heavy commercial vehicle (HCV), light commercial vehicle (LCV), passenger vehicle (PV), sports utility vehicle (SUV) and luxury vehicles. By fuel type, the flex fuel vehicles market, have been further bifurcated into gasoline flex fuel and diesel flex fuel. Additionally the global flex fuel vehicles market has been further divided into five regions; they are North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa and Europe.
North America was the market leader in the flex fuel vehicle market in 2015 followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest rate. This growth of the market in Asia Pacific can be credited to increased production of luxury and high end vehicles along with increasing demand for alternate fuel vehicle, which has empowered vehicle manufacturers to invest heavily in flex fuel engine technology.
The major players in this industry are Ford Motor Company (U.S.), Volkswagen (Germany), General Motors Company (U.S.), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Japan), Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (Japan), Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan), and AUDI (Germany) among others.