Alternative Fuels:

Status of Methanol Vehicle Development

RCED-87-10BR: Published: Oct 17, 1986. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the methanol supply and the status of methanol vehicle development in the United States.

GAO found that: (1) only 1 percent of the methanol produced in 1985 was used for vehicle fuel; (2) the total domestic methanol production capacity would meet less than 1 percent of automotive fuel demand; (3) automobile manufacturers and state and private research groups need to conduct further research to resolve certain problems with methanol-fueled vehicles, such as cold-weather starting; (4) automobile manufacturers are not producing methanol vehicles because the lack of retail methanol fuel and low gasoline prices render methanol not economically viable; (5) federal emissions and fuel economy standards could influence the introduction of methanol as an alternative vehicle fuel; and (6) several mass transit authorities are using methanol-fueled buses to reduce pollutant emissions.

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