Study Addresses Ethanol’s Efficiency

The American Coalition for Ethanol released the results of its Fuel Economy Study, which researched the fuel economy, cost per mile, and driveability of various blends of fuel, including unleaded gasoline, E10, E20, and E30.

“As ethanol production and use continues to expand from coast to coast, increased public discussion and media attention have often turned to a debate over ethanol’s fuel efficiency,” said Ron Lamberty, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) VP. “The bottom line is that, in addition to offering higher performance and lower emissions, ethanol-blended fuel is easier on the pocketbooks of American motorists.” The research tested unleaded gasoline, a 10% ethanol blend (E10), a 20% ethanol blend (E20), and a 30% ethanol blend (E30) in three late-model vehicles. Although the MPG of ethanol blends was slightly lower than the unleaded, the cost per mile of operation was generally lower. Also, the higher the concentrations of ethanol, the lower the cost per mile. Using the study’s average MPG, E10 is less expensive per mile than unleaded until ethanol’s cost is nearly 30 cents above unleaded. The study cautioned that motorists should not use fuel with concentrations of ethanol higher than those recommended by the vehicles’ manufacturers, but called for more research to determine if those fuels should be approved for use in standard, non flexible fuel vehicles. “If drivers want to save money at the pump as gas prices reach new record highs, this pilot study confirms that ethanol is the fuel of choice,” said Brian Jennings, ACE executive VP.
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