Study: non-flex fuel cars get better fuel economy on ethanol

There are many people that say you can get better mileage with ethanol and you can even use blends higher than E10 in non flex-fuel cars. While controversial and only proven in tests done by mechanics or culled from impressions from truckers, there are finally some government and university studies to back up these amazing claims. The American Coalition of Ethanol has details and results from a study co-sponsored by themselves and the U.S. Department of Energy and conducted by The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research (MnCAR).

They study was done with four 2007 model vehicles: a Toyota Camry, a Ford Fusion, and two Chevrolet Impalas (flex-fuel and non). The cars took the EPA Highway Fuel Economy Test (HWFET) on ethanol-gasoline blends and normal gasoline. The results found "fuel mixtures with more ethanol than E10 but less than E85 - can in some cases provide better fuel economy than regular unleaded gasoline, even in standard, non-flex-fuel vehicles." In fact, along with three out of four actually traveling further on ethanol, "all of the vehicles got better mileage with ethanol blends than the ethanol's energy content would predict." The study even showed there was no engine fault signs when normal cars used blends up to 65 percent.

These are initial results and there will be more studies but can you imagine a day when ethanol blended fuels (cellulosic, naturally) actually get better mileage than regular gas? Not in special flex-fuel cars but normal every day cars on the street right now? Imagine reducing the pollution levels in all cars by simply changing the fuel blends while saving money in the process? Dare I hope?

[Source: The American Coalition of Ethanol via Green Car Congress and tipster Nathan]

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