Honda announced today that it has developed a new flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) system that enables gasoline engine-based power plants to operate on either 100% ethanol or a wide range of ethanol-gasoline fuel mixtures.
Up to now, variations in the ratio of ethanol-to-gasoline have affected low-temperature startup performance, and caused variations in air-fuel ratio and engine output.
This has made it a challenge to maintain stable dynamic performance, fuel economy and emissions levels. The new Honda system adapts to different ethanol-to-gasoline ratios by estimating the concentration of ethanol in the ethanol-gasoline mix in the fuel tank based on measurements of exhaust gas concentration in the vehicle’s exhaust system.
This provides the flexibility to adapt to ethanol-to-gasoline ratios of between 20% and 100%, while achieving outstanding fuel economy and dynamic performance on a par with a 100% gasoline-powered vehicle. In addition, a cold-start system utilizing a secondary fuel tank ensures reliable starts even at low ambient temperatures.
Bioethanol fuel, as used in Brazil and other countries, is made from plant sources such as sugar cane. Because plants absorb CO² via photosynthesis, the amount of CO² released into the atmosphere from burning bioethanol fuel does not increase atmospheric CO². This makes bioethanol fuel an effective means to combat global warming as well as an alternative to petroleum.
In late 2006, Honda plans to begin sales of FFVs in Brazil, where bio-ethanol has gained in popularity.
Engine Specifications (Honda calculations)
Civic FFV Fit FFV
Displacement 1.8 liters 1.4 liters
Max. Output 103kW(140PS)/6,200rpm 61kW(83PS)/5,700rpm
Max. Torque 174N x m(17.7kg x m)/4,300rpm 119N x m(12.1kg x m)/2,800rpm
172N x m(17.5kg x m)/5,000rpm 116N x m(11.8kg x m)/2,800rpm
(1) 100% ethanol
(2) 22% ethanol mixture