– It was easiest to fuel E85 in the Netherlands and in Germany. We refuelled conveniently in our home town Rotterdam and then in Germany, the closest country that has an acceptable number of E85 fuelling stations, says John Akkerhuis.
When going to France and Italy in 2007, only 10 percent of their refuelling was with E85 but on their trip to BEST partner city Brandenburg in Germany in 2008, they drove 85 percent on E85.
As a preparation before the trip, they looked on the internet where to find E85 stations along the way.
– Even though there are quite a number of filling stations you still have to leave the highway and if you are on a long trip you don’t want to loose too much time on looking for an E85 station.
You also don’t know exactly when you will need to refuel so you should print several approaching routes from the highway to the E85 station. A tool that adds them to the car navigation system could be useful, says John Akkerhuis.
Another dedicated FFV driver is Aryan Schmitz, vice president of etanol.nu, a Swedish association that propagates for the conversion of existing petrol vehicles to ethanol or flexifuel vehicles.
– I have been travelling through Europe a couple of summers with our old ethanol converted Citroën and managed to fuel it with only E85 with the help of a GPS loaded with our database over E85 filling stations, he says.
In 2007, Aryan drove from Stockholm to northern Italy through Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Last summer, the trip went to southern France, near Perpignan.
– If you use a GPS to plan the route you can easily look for filling stations along the way and plan your next filling stop right after the last one to avoid long detours looking for E85, he says. For example, you refuel in southern Sweden before driving through Denmark, which has no E85 stations.
– Of course you can also fill up your car with petrol, but we wanted to avoid that and never had to.