Mileage Gains Using Ethanol Seen 20% Higher Than EPA Says

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by JohnM, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. JonNC

    JonNC Driving Smarter Since 06/07/2011

    My usual Shell station got rid of the 89 oct and replaced it with ethanol free 87 (at least that is what I think I saw :D).
    It'll be a few weeks before I have reason to stop there again, if I can remember I'll take a pic.

    The only problem is it's about $0.35 per gallon more.

  2. Mountain Driver

    Mountain Driver Active Member


    It'd be interesting to know how the ethanol free 87 affects your mpg. Dependent upon results, your mpg may cover the extra cost.

  3. litesong

    litesong litesong

    I have many years of accurate mpg records showing E0 gains 8%, 7% & 5% better mpg than E10. Now, I want to talk about the price of E0. The EPA & the "ethanol in gasoline industry" have worked diligently to crush E0. & they came close, with the large majority of Americans having difficulties or no chance to obtain E0 locally for their gasoline vehicles. With that rarity, politics & economics have turned E0 into a pricey speciality fuel. At its worst, E0 has become Unobtainium, available only a little closer than the moon of Pandora, & priced ever higher, if you include gas station travel costs.

    What has surprised me is the vast number of driver enthusiasts that have dropped without E0, which is the proper mate for their gasoline vehicles, to bed down with 10% ethanol blends, a diluted, false fuel. Yes, gasoline engine engineers designed gasoline engines to work best while burning E0. To use(not burn efficiently) 10% ethanol blends is to say engineers don't know what they are doing.

    Only the drivers that support & the stations that sell E0 seem to care. But their caring has dragged the listings for E0 sources from 2000 to 9140 sources now. Slowly, more drivers are caring, & 10,000 E0 sources may be listed by the beginning of 2016. If the mandate to ethanol dilute our nation's fuel stocks can be overturned, ten times (more?) the present availability of E0 could be quickly mounted. The end of E0 rarity would also end the often large price gap between E0 & E10.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  4. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Currently, the stations within driving distance of my home are charging a $0.20/gal premium for E0. When I first started buying E0 3 or 4 years ago, the price difference was $0.07 - $0.10.
  5. litesong

    litesong litesong

    You are correct. With the collapsed price of 10% ethanol blends last year, the price gap between E0 & E10 became 30% to 40% in Washington state. Even I had to resort to buying 10% ethanol blends. Also, the rarity of E0 raises its price. Now, with the superball bounce & skyrocketing price of ethanol blends, my favorite E0 source sold E0 for "only" 7.3% more than E10. I have E0 back in my gas tank! Driving home on the highway, the car computer showed a strong 49mpg.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  6. litesong

    litesong litesong

    & better now, than when you made your post in 9-2013. In 2014, the Florida legislature repealed laws forcing ethanol into gasoline stocks. From ~ 440 Florida E0 sources, Florida has risen to the 2nd place state with 573. One loophole in EPA efforts to dilute our national gasoline stocks with ethanol, is that marinas & airports can still carry E0. Well, Florida has lots of marinas along ocean, sea, & lake shorelines. The truth of this will be seen as one looks at the map & zooming in on Florida. Lots of E0 sources along its shorelines, & fewer E0 sources inland.
  7. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    Kind of hard to justify ethanol as a way to keep us energy self sufficient when the oil tanks are so full there literally is no more space available. It would be better for our cars and fuel efficiency if they'd eliminate the mandate and just send the farmers a welfare check instead, since this is nothing more that welfare. What's next, mandate wooden wheels on cars to keep wheelwrights employed? Let the market determine the viability of ethanol, not Congress.
  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I wonder what kind of rolling resistance you have with a wooden wheel. Hmmmmm......
  9. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    My thoughts are how about the farmers find a crop to plant that does not require gov't subsidies?
  10. litesong

    litesong litesong

    ...... that does something...... Ethanol(114 octane), as used in low 87 octane, low compression ratio gasoline engines fails. Introducing only 10% ethanol to gasoline, collapses mpg by 8%, 8%, 7% & 5%. Using 100% ethanol-free gasoline(E0) is like adding 2 gallons to a 24 gallon gas tank.......without adding a bigger gas tank or carrying the extra 2 gallons. Some people report ethanol produces no usable energy in their vehicles. Whether that be true or not, only 10% ethanol collapses mpg by 8%, 8%, 7% & 5%.
  11. brandonj

    brandonj Active Member

    Here, my low octane is usually 87 and the only sources I find even remotely close for E0 are airports and marinas and it's either 91 or 93 octane which costs more to begin with.
    I wonder if the mid grade or premium would actually be able to return better MPG than 87 containing "up to 10% ethanol"?
    I don't really fancy driving miles out of my way to fill up with gasoline costing at least $1 more per gallon as that seems to be what marinas around here charge.
  12. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Not quite sure exactly whqat you're asking, so I'll attack it from a couple of angles, and hopefully one of them is the right answer for you.

    1. When comparing fuels with the same ethanol content, the one with the octane rating that most closely matches what your manufacturer recommends for your vehicle is the one that will return the best economy. If your vehicle's manual specifies fuel of 85 octane or higher, then put 87 in it. Putting 93 in won't get you anything more. If your vehicle's manual specifies premium fuel, then only put premium fuel in it. It is tuned to run on premium, and if you put 87 in it, you will experience a loss of economy, and a loss of performance as well.

    2. Ethanol free fuel will always return better mileage than ethanol blends. In some cases, ethanol free is only available in premium, but the fact that its ethanol free outweighs the higher octane. In most instances your best mileage will be derived from using ethanol free 87 octane fuel.
  13. brandonj

    brandonj Active Member

    What I was getting at, is how would mileage loss due to higher octane IE 91 instead of 87 compare with losses of 10% Ethanol blended 87 vs E0 87.

    In other words, going from E10 87 octane to 91 or 93 ethanol free, would it make a noticeable difference in mileage.

    So I think you answered that with #2.

    I tried to find BTU content of the different blends and unblended fuels, but I couldn't even find a consistent answer for the BTU content of regular 87, let alone the higher octanes and ethanol blends....
  14. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Yes, when buying fuel for my vehicles, I always choose ethanol free premium over 87 E10.

    The BTU content does not change with the fuel's octane rating. The higher the ethanol content, the BTU's will be lower. Ethanol has less BTU's than pure gasoline. The octane rating comes into play with engine compression. Higher compression engines will require higher octane fuel.
  15. The Doctor

    The Doctor Old Dude, New Car

    Here in FL, the only LEGAL fuel to put in a car, contains up to 10% Ethanol.
    Plus, it's way cheaper than the NO-Ethanol fuel.

    But, my Kia Soul is designed to run on Ethanol fuel as long as it does not contain over 10% ethanol.

    On a recent road trip, I got 43.9 MPG for the first half of the trip, including some Interstate miles and some two-lane state road miles.

    Much of that GREAT mileage, is due to some things I learned right here on this forum.
    But when I try to impart some of that knowledge to those lunkheads on the Kia forum, I get called names and just generally flamed!:mad:

    For anyone even thinking about getting a Kia Soul, I highly advise getting one with the 1.6L engine and an Automatic Transmission. The pairing of the 1.6L engine and the AT, is absolutely fantastic. But the little 1.6L engine has a 12 to 1 compression ratio, and it also has DFI and VVT, so it's definitely the most high performance four cylinder engine I've ever owned or driven.

    I nicnamed my little Kia Soul, Gertrude, and I drive her like I stole her and she rewards me with really Great mileage and sports car performance.
    The worse thing any person can do to a high performance engine is dog it around, grabbing groceries. "Drive it like ya stole it!"

    Cheers Mates and Happy Motoring!
  16. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Wayne was pretty pessimistic about E0 back in his post in 2013. Presently, E0 is served in 14,780 sites AND continues to rise in the U.S. & Canada. Wisconsin continues to lead with 962 E0 sites, normally hundred(s?) of sites ahead of almost all other states. However, North Carolina, with years of expansion, now has only 32 E0 sites less than Wisconsin. Also, Florida with great expansion of E0 sites, now has 910. People that know E0, love it. I love E0 too, & have paid 16%-20% more to burn it, even tho my records for 5 vehicles indicate "only" 8%, 8%, 7%-8%, 7% & 5% better MPG, E0 over E10.The problem is the "ethanol in gasoline industry" continues to force E0 pricing higher, now 25% to 30% higher than E10. Yeah, yeah, yeah...... I'm using (not burning efficiently) E10, only because E10 is ....CHEAP!
    BillLin likes this.
  17. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'm using E10 because...……… I don't want to drive 150 miles ( literally ) to buy E0.
    Trollbait and BillLin like this.
  18. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I thought the difference was a matter of energy content, just like diesel has more energy content than gasoline (e0 or variants). E85 has even less energy per gallon, right?
  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't have to drive that far, but it would probably be almost an hour out of my way. Stations with E0 that I've seen in my travels had it priced more than regular E10. So going out of my way likely isn't going to be worth the expense.
    That is the difference, but that gap could be lessened if the engine was designed for E85. The flex fuel engines available in the US are low compression ones designed for regular gasoline. Ethanol has an effective octane higher than premium; the AKI of E85 is still a little higher. A higher compression can be used to convert more of the fuel's energy into useful work.

    The manufacturers could have used a high compression engine for a flex-fuel and labelled it for regular gas, and the fuel efficiencies between the two fuels be closer together*.
    *EPA test gas is 93 octane, so the gasoline fuel economy test result should be lowered on the window sticker to reflect what regular would return.
    BillLin likes this.
  20. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Is that so ? I thought that they used E0 , which would probably make a bigger difference
    in fuel economy than higher octane fuel.
    BillLin likes this.

Share This Page