More than 93 percent of 2019 model year (MY) vehicles are explicitly approved by the manufacturer to use 15 percent ethanol blends (E15), according to the results of an annual analysis of warranty statements and owners manuals conducted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). That is up from last year, when approximately 89 percent of MY 2018 vehicles were formally approved by automakers to use E15. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legally approved the use of E15 in cars and light-duty trucks built in 2001 or later, representing more than 92 percent of all registered cars and trucks on the road today. However, automakers did not start including E15 as an approved fuel in owners manuals and warranty statements until 2012, the year E15 was first sold commercially. For the first time, Subaru is approving the use of E15 in several of its most popular models for MY 2019, including the Ascent, Crosstrek and Impreza. Other highlights of the RFA analysis include:
- General Motors, the first automaker to approve the use of E15, is listing E15 as an approved fuel for its vehicles for the eighth straight model year.
- MY 2019 will be the seventh straight year that Ford has listed E15 as an approved fuel.
- After approving the use of E15 in some models in MY 2018, Nissan is approving E15 for all MY 2019 models. The Infiniti QX80 is the only non-flex fuel model in the Nissan/Infiniti family still lacking E15 approval.
- Hyundai has approved E15 for its MY 2019 Sonata, which was the one model not listed for E15 in MY 2018.
- Mini approves the use of up to 25 percent ethanol (E25) in all MY 2019 models.
- Mercedes-Benz and Mazda are the two largest auto lines that do not yet include E15 as an approved fuel, each accounting for about 2 percent of the market. However, some Mercedes models are available as flex fuel vehicles.
- BMW, Volvo, and Mitsubishi are the only other remaining laggards amongst major automakers.