Whether Tuomo Isokivijärvi is meeting with venture capitalists in Palo Alto, California, Finland or anywhere else in the world, he’s usually trying to explain how his company’s E85-based conversion kit technology applies to current and future light-duty passenger vehicles. He doesn’t shy away from explaining the limitations of electric vehicles—why EVs alone won’t be able to fulfill the transportation needs of the world anytime soon, despite what many investors have been repeatedly told. And he relays the comparable affordability of the eFlexFuel technology his company, StepOne Tech Ltd., has commercialized over the past decade. Isokivijärvi is quick to explain that adding an eFlexFuel conversion kit to a compatible vehicle achieves the same lifetime emissions reduction as switching to a battery EV—for less than the price of a new smartphone.
Although there are other technology providers offering similar products to StepOne Tech’s eFlexFuel conversion kit, none have taken the steps to push the idea of such ethanol-based technology forward quite like Isokivijärvi. Should it work and catch on, E85 could be heightened to a different status, Isokivijärvi believes, and ethanol’s highest percentage U.S. blend—decades in use and growing, but below full potential—could gain broader appeal as a practical climate solution with the ancillary benefit of saving drivers money at the pump. For that to happen, the collaboration forged, and the progress recently made by StepOne Tech and the U.S. ethanol industry must continue. Here’s what they’ve achieved to date.
Luke Geiver – Ethanol Producer Magazine