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FleetFocus

All things fleet tracking – industry news and best practices


E15 Fuel Blend: What You Need to Know

Posted on 11/01/2013 by Adrienne Sallerson  |  0 Comments

E15 Fuel Blend: What You Need to Know

Meet E15. It’s the new grade of fuel —a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. Those in favor of the new E15 fuel blend say it will help reduce gas prices and foster energy independence. Lower gas prices and energy self-sufficiency sounds like a step in the right direction, so why is this new fuel blend causing so much controversy? For starters, many debate that any savings at the pump would be offset by frequent and expensive engine and fuel system repairs.

According to a recent AAA NewsRoom article, the engineering officials for AAA believe that sustained use of E15 fuel may result in costly problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel system damage and false “check engine” lights in some vehicles.

While E15 has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in passenger cars from the 2001 model year or later, why would consumers want E15, considering the problems the new fuel blend may cause? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Ethanol is $1 a gallon cheaper than gas at the wholesale level. Diluting gas with 15 percent ethanol would make the resulting blend about a nickel per gallon cheaper than the E10 blend of regular unleaded gasoline that accounts for most of the nation’s motor-vehicle fuel.
  2. E15 would lower the price of blended fuel by 15 cents a gallon compared to the “pure-gas” (gas that doesn’t contain any alcohol additives).
  3. Ethanol delivers fewer miles per gallon than gas. Check out a recent fuel-efficiency study by Edmunds.com for more info!
  4. According to Bob Dinneen, Chief Executive for the Renewable Fuels Association, E15 would not reduce mpg enough to erase the benefit of ethanol’s cheaper price. “It’s a win for consumers,” he said.

But ultimately, the choice to use E15 will be yours. The new fuel blend will be available as an additional option at the pump, not a replacement for the gasoline blend that is most widely sold in the U.S. If you don’t want to try the higher ethanol blend, you won’t have to.

For more information about the E15 fuel blend, click here.

*sources include: Edmunds.com & EPA.gov

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