E85 fuel economy figures available from the US EPA

The US Environmental Protection Agency has updated its Fuel Economy web site to include a comparison between the appropriate fossil fuel and E85 for each flex-fuel vehicle available in the US. The figures make interesting reading.

A quick look through the flex-fuel ethanol-gasoline vehicles turned up a 2007 Mercedes C230 to use as an example of the information available.

2007 Mercedes C230

The figures below are metric (the web site does a conversion for you) and show the new and the old economy ratings. The EPA has recently changed the way it measures fuel economy for new vehicles and is now making available more realistic numbers. Something that wouldn’t go astray here in Australia.

Mercedes C230 economy figures

As you can see there is a significant difference between premium unleaded and E85 and this is expected given the lower energy density of ethanol. However, there are a few other figures to consider before you write off ethanol. The following figures are based on 45% highway, 55% city driving over a total distance of 24135 km/year.

Petrol consumption drops from 18 barrels to 5.7 barrels a year, greenhouse gas emissions drop from 8.7 to 7.2 tonnes per year and fuel costs drop from USD2588 to USD2249 per year when E85 is used. Note that E85 is quoted as being considerably cheaper than premium unleaded in the US.

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One Response

  1. The Envirofuel article was referenced by the Wall Street Journal. If you look really hard at the bottom of this article you’ll see the link.

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