E/85 instead of unleaded?

Does anyone have experience with E/85? I am looking for things like whether or not mileage is comparable, vehicle performance differences with E/85, availability of it, etc.

As I understand it, you get lower mileage per gallon with E85 as alcohol has a lower energy density than regular petroleum based fuel (same issue with the “up to 10% ethanol fuel”).

You also need a vehicle that is designed to run it… and it’s not available everywhere.

Others will come along and tell us why ethanol based fuels are a bad idea in the long run. Personally, I’m not a fan of them as they take barley fields and turn them into corn fields… it makes the cost of my barley malt extracts for brewing more expensive. :smiley:

EJ’s - here’s a chart that shows you some comparisons of mileage. Ethanol has less energy per unit of volume than gasoline does, and so mixing in ethanol will reduce your mileage.


Can a regular car take 10% ethanol? I pulled into a gas station the other day and was about to pump when I noticed that all the pumps said they were 10% ethanol.

No problem there. The 10% ethanol mix is what used to be referred to as gasohol. In California, all pump gas must contain 10% ethanol by 2010 so E10 should not be a problem.

Generally, most cars can handle up to E15 witout any problems. Despite this, the state of Minnesota will be requiring E20 by 2013.

Since you live in Newport Beach, make sure your yacht’s gas tank and fittings are compatible with ethanol blended gasoline.:slight_smile:

Thanks Una, I knew I could count on you!

So, if I’m reading it right, it looks like using E/85 will cost me about the same as regular unleaded (or a shade less), but there is a drop of 4-8 MPG… That might be a tough sell.

That was kind of the silly bit when E85 first came out. It initially cost the same or more as regular gas, but offered lower milage. Ok, so WHY do I want to buy it?

E20 is going to be a hard sell and I think by 2013, given the whole Ethanol Crisis that will be unfolding before then (seriously overbuilt capacity, crop prices, global food issues and the like), they might just come to their senses and back off of it.

For E85, you need what is called a Flex Fuel Vehicle. It your car isn’t labeled, sold or marketed as such, don’t attempt to use E85.

Yes – it’s called gasohol and has been around for more than 30 years in Iowa. IIRC it was introduced there shortly after the 1973 Arab oil embargo; when I started driving in the mid 70s, I usually filled my car with it.