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More ethanol coming to pumps near you
New blend will work in any vehicle built back to 2001

The EPA is set to finalize use of a new ethanol/gasoline that might be in pumps at your local station this summer.

The current 10% blend will be replaced by a 15% blend that is expected to be available in time for the heavy summer driving season. The EPA approved the raising of the ethanol content to 15% in January -- corn farmers and the ethanol industry understandably welcomed the ruling.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate Agriculture Committee during a hearing, "We are now in the process of completing a rule that will establish national labeling. We expect to issue a final rule in the next few months." The labeling will help protect the consumer from using the new fuel in an unapproved engine.

The EPA will officially register E15 this spring, which is a requirement before the fuel can be sold at the pump. The agency has also recently received the emissions and health information to support the registration and is currently reviewing that information.

Not everyone is behind the plan to raise ethanol content in gasoline through. Critics say that using more corn for fuel will drive already high corn process up to even higher levels. Ethanol trade group Growth Energy notes that more ethanol will help people fighting fuel prices at the pump. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said, "Lifting the regulatory barriers preventing higher blends of U.S.-made ethanol from getting into the pump would start to push gas prices down right away."

The new E15 fuel can be used in all vehicles built since 2001. That means that 74% of all gasoline burning vehicles on the road will be able to use the new fuel accounting for 85% of gasoline demand. 

UPDATED: Justin Starkey, owner of VMP Tuning, had this to say about the new 15% ethanol blend and what it means for fuel economy and auto enthusiasts:

It basically hurts everyone… 

Fuel economy goes down, because of the lower energy content in the ethanol.

If you have a turbocharged or supercharge vehicle with high fuel demands at WOT, it will push your injector and fuel pump duty cycles higher.

Having more ethanol in the gas makes tuning cars more difficult and more inconsistent.  The ethanol level in the gasonline is not always held at a full 15%.  It can be all over the place from one fillup to the next.  If your car is tuned with a wideband while running 15% ethanol, and then you run fuel with no ethanol in it, you’re air to fuel ratio can shift over a point richer. This is huge from a tuning standpoint in terms of power and efficiency.  The OEMs have realized this and most 2011+ Fords including the Mustang GT and Shelby GT500 use widebands from the factory.  These vehicles are closed loop at WOT (wide open throttle) and are constantly correcting air/fuel ratio at all operating conditions.  The PCM keeps the actual A/F and the commanded A/F the same, this is great for performance, efficiency, reliability, and safety.



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Not ALL cars
By Flunk on 3/14/2011 2:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
The manual for my 2010 Mazda 3 specifically says that higher than 10% ethanol voids the warranty and can corrode the fuel system. If they really did this what would I do?




RE: Not ALL cars
By maven81 on 3/14/2011 3:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Same here, my 2010 subaru's manual specifically says to not use fuel with over 10% ethanol.


RE: Not ALL cars
By wookie1 on 3/14/2011 9:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
That'll be interesting to see. I'd bet that if you have to run E15 because you can no longer find pumps with E10 or less, and you have corrosion etc, Subaru would probably not warranty it. I don't think that you would have any recourse, just have to suck it up and pay for new parts.

Also, your used vehicle values will tank, since the warranty is void and people would be worried about corrosion after the media starts to run stories about people having problems.

Don't complain, you're just doing your part to help the hard-working farmers and save the planet. Buying new fuel lines and tanks, etc, is a minimal price to pay in this pursuit. Also, you'll be creating or saving jobs in the auto replacement parts industry.


RE: Not ALL cars
By FITCamaro on 3/14/2011 3:40:38 PM , Rating: 4
What you expect the EPA to care about you? Lowly peon. We fart in your general direction. If you do not go away I shall taunt you a second time. /frenchaccent


RE: Not ALL cars
By Flunk on 3/14/2011 3:48:12 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, the government works for the people. Otherwise we rise up and revolt.

Do you spend all day posting idiotic garbage on DT?


RE: Not ALL cars
By FITCamaro on 3/14/2011 3:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
/facepalm

I was being sarcastic.


RE: Not ALL cars
By Ringold on 3/15/2011 1:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, the government works for the people. Otherwise we rise up and revolt.


If that were true, my old public economics textbook from back in college would've only been about 1/3 as thick, as about 2/3's of it dealt with what can generally be called sources of government corruption and how small groups of citizens try to warp democracy to screw the wider majority of citizens.

The older I get, the more disillusioned I get with democracy in general, though I admit it works better then other systems.. Just needs the occasional libertarian insurgency imo. :P


RE: Not ALL cars
By FITCamaro on 3/15/2011 7:22:57 AM , Rating: 4
Hence the Tea Party movement.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone











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