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E85 Vehicles Headline Detroit Auto Show

Automakers unveil models utilizing ethanol blend at 2007 North American International Auto Show.

Several automakers are showcasing models that can run on E85 for the first time at this year's North American Auto Show in Detroit

The appearance of vehicles capable of burning E85 - a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline - comes the same week that 37 state governors proposed a push for ethanol that would include a requirement that 70% of new vehicles be able to run on E85.

"If people are serious about reducing imported oil, this is the best thing you can do fast," General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner says in the Detroit Free Press. "There's no question it's a good thing to do. Can't see why anyone would be against it."

Chevrolet is using its new E-Flex system in a smart-looking car at the show. The E-Flex system runs on a combination of electricity and either gasoline or E85. Many of Ford's concepts can run on ethanol, and two Chrysler models have E85 options.

Although American automakers are showing enthusiasm for ethanol, foreign automakers have been more tentative. Toyota's Tundra will have a flex-fuel option, but some groups are criticizing this choice because it taps a U.S. fuel-economy credit despite having poor mileage ratings.

"I think, directionally, if there's a way that we can start getting off fossil fuels and move to something else, we're willing to do it," Toyota senior vice president for automobile operations Don Esmond says in the Free Press. "I don't know that demand is there right now."

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