flex fuel cars or the Open Fuel Standard because methanol and ethanol don't give cars enough range. In the same sized fuel tank, a full tank of gasoline would travel more miles than a full tank of methanol or ethanol.
There are two answers
to this. One is that the range difference isn't as great as you'd think
— especially if the car is optimized for alcohol fuels. Most of the
comparison between gasoline and alcohol uses BTUs (British Thermal
Units), which is a measure of heat. Gasoline produces more heat
when it burns. But heat is not what creates forward motion. Gasoline
produces more heat, but some of its energy is expended in producing
heat, and that energy is wasted. More of alcohol's energy is used to
power the car and less of it is wasted on creating heat.
alcohol fuels become more efficient at higher compression. So the
difference in miles per gallon between gasoline and alcohol will be
smaller with a higher compression engine. Engineers are already in the
process of perfecting a variable-compression engine.
The second answer is that if it is a flex fuel car, it doesn't matter
that alcohol doesn't have as much range as gasoline because if you are
going on a long trip or want more range, you can just buy gasoline. The
car can burn gasoline too. That's the whole point. You will have a choice. If you want to burn nothing but
gasoline, no matter how expensive it gets, you will be able to. Flex
fuel technology doesn't reduce a car's ability to burn gasoline. That's
why so many people own flex fuel vehicles now without even knowing it: Because they've been burning gasoline in their cars and it burns gasoline just as well as a gasoline-only car.