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New Study Give the Green Light to EPA to OK E15 for All Vehicles

September 21, 2010


In the coming weeks, the EPA is expected to announce a ruling on whether to increase the ethanol content allowed in gasoline blends from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15). Unfortunately, the EPA has hinted it will limit the use of E15 to newer vehicles — those made more recently than 2001 or perhaps even 2007. With this bifurcation, confusion is bound to arise among consumers and gasoline retailers as to which pump to use to fill up their tanks or the decision to have separate pumps for newer and older cars. Such a decision would have the effect of eliminating much of the market for this clean-burning, American-made biofuel. Fortunately, there is no research suggesting that E15 damages cars and other vehicles, whatever their vintage. In order to further explore this issue, the Renewable Fuels Association commissioned a study by the internationally recognized automotive engineering firm, Ricardo, Inc. The study focused on cars and light trucks from model years 1994-2000. Ricardo, Inc. studied a sampling of the top-selling vehicles from this period from the six leading automotive manufacturers: General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. In analyzing the various vehicles, the Ricardo Inc. analysis found minimal effects on engine components and materials, emission systems (including catalytic converters) and overall performance of raising the ethanol percentage from 10 percent to 15 percent. This study shows that the use of E15 if safe for virtually all vehicles on the road today. Read more of what RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen has to say in his op-ed from The Hill, here.