There continues to be a large amount of chatter around the controversial Coordinating Research Council's (CRC) Intermediate-Level Ethanol Blends Engine Durability Study (Report No. CM136-09-1B). What I haven't seen is a visual representation of the test program ever make it into press releases, Congressional hearings, newspaper articles, or AAA publications. If indeed a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the test program results — in one thousand words. Below is the visual representation of the CRC's Engine Durability Overall Results (from page 11 of the report.) Colorful picture isn't it? From the API/CRC press releases, one would gather the only failures in the test program were on ethanol blended fuels. That is far from factual.
- 33 percent of the vehicles tested failed on gasoline with no ethanol.
- 75 percent of the eight vehicle models (Vehicles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) tested passed on E20, however one of the duplicate models failed.
- The objective of the test program was "to identify possible engine component wear caused by additional ethanol content in the fuel..." If incremental effects of ethanol were the research objective, then E10, which makes up over 95 percent of the gasoline available in the United States, should have been included in the evaluation.
- The test protocol selected for this test program was "employed by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)..." If the benchmark for acceptable engine durability is the protocol used in this research program, then why is a single original equipment manufacturer using this engine durability protocol?
- Several of the vehicles were "waived" of further testing and subsequently deemed acceptable as no further testing was completed.
- It was known that a number of these vehicles were under recall at the time of the testing.