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Ethanol Hurts Gas Mileage

June 24, 2008

Ethanol Blended Fuel Hurts Gas Mileage

Supporters of ethanol use say it’s a cheaper, cleaner burning fuel. They claim the 10% blend has virtually no impact on fuel efficiency, but some mechanics disagree.

Block says it’s simple science. He says a car must burn more ethanol to create the same energy as gasoline. So if you remove 10% pure gasoline and replace it with ethanol, the fuel won’t burn the same.

According to Block’s numbers, the driver of a vehicle that gets 20 miles per gallon would see his fuel efficiency drop to 19 miles per gallon on average.

Hmmm. This sounds familiar. Seems I read someone saying something like this not too long ago. Oh yeah, it was me.

Not to mention that Ethanol blend gasoline makes many cars (like mine) run like crap and causes them to burn MORE gas which makes people spend MORE money at the pump.

One MPG difference can have a significant impact over course of a tank of gas. For the record, by my calculations a 10% Ethanol blend causes me to lose a little over 2 MPG. In my case thats a days commute to work and back. Thats one more day I can go an without having to buy gas. Over a few months that adds up to a couple weeks. Over a year that adds up to… well, you get the point.

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8 Comments
  1. When will a company with deep pockets create my dream hybrid. A plug in electric with a solar panel body and a small battery charging gas engine for long range trips.

    I can’t find any stations around me here in Florida that carry 100% gasoline.

  2. jake permalink

    this article fails to consider the improved octane rating that comes from adding ethanol to gasoline. although the fuel has less energy, the engine is able to more efficiently extract that energy from the fuel, so the mileage stays about the same.
    On the price issue, several recent studies have found that gasoline would be about 30-40 cents more expensive per gallon if ethanol weren’t displacing demand for it.

  3. although the fuel has less energy, the engine is able to more efficiently extract that energy from the fuel, so the mileage stays about the same.

    Incorrect.

    Gallon for gallon, pure ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline, and the ethanol industry acknowledges that E10 reduces mileage by about 2 percent.

    Some drivers think the change is notably greater. Chuck Mai, a vice president of AAA Oklahoma, reported that his organization has been getting calls from members blaming E10 for mileage drops of 8 to 20 percent.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/26/business/26ethanol.html

    This matches my experience with Ethanol in my vehicle which I’ve detailed a few times in this blog.

  4. Trad permalink

    Ive noticed a decrease in power and fuel efficiency…. ran a couple of fuel cleaners thru a tank of non ethanol fuel and seem to be getting back my better fuel economy and feels like it runs stronger too. didnt calculate the mpg exactly but id say around 15-20 miles more now!

  5. Charlie2929 permalink

    Ethanol is Junk: My name is Charlie Embry and have been trying to find some way to get people to see what I have been preaching for 6 months now. but when you go to the store at 3.30am and do not get home until at least 5.00PM I have a problem staying awake to surf anything in afternoon or night! My wife and I have owned and operated a single mom and pop type conv. store since 1993. While running a small bus. and having to compete with the big boys you learn to adjust to the times and try different things just to stay in buss. I am not highly educated and you will find errors in this e-mail, but what I do know has been learned the hard way, and is usually the best way to learn anything. The subject I need you News people to help me with is gasoline. I have learned alot lately about the gas and ethanol bussiness. The news media is being lead around by the nose by the lying, cheating Oil Companies, Fed. Goverment, and of course the man Al Gore. They are reporting everything they want them to report, not facts, so they just make more money at our expense. We can save this country at least 20% of all gasoline used by just doing one easy fix that can be done at no ones expense except the Oil Companies, which is stop the no-name gas from being sold. No-name gas is the Sams, Krogers anything that has no major name sign in front. If the Sams and like are going to sell gas, make them sell Name Brand Gas. You remember as a kid when all the gas companies addvertized that there gas would give better mileage, not any more because they want you to buy the no-name so they make more money and sell more gas.If you are a money person: figure what a person is really paying for Sams gas when the person is losing at least 3-5 miles per gas. The way I figure it, a person can pay another 20 cents/gal for every 1 mpg and it will still be even as far as cost/ mile driven! You have got to figure it to the cost / mile to see what I am saying. I have proven this fact to alot of cust. over the past several years and can prove it to you, just drive to my store with the car on E and fill it up with my still 100% branded gasoline with out that junk they call Ethanol!!!! This no-name gas has been pushed very slowly over the past several years until the Sams, Murphys,Krogers and the like got in the gas buss. which can go in the small towns and wipe out the little guys, and then they will charge what ever they want for gas that does not even give you the same fuel mileage. Look back on the total national gas usage in the last 5 years and I wonder just what % of the increase is because the big boys got in the gas bussiness selling junky gas that get no fuel mileage. I still think the Clintons and Al Gore planned this while in office, and them being in with Wall-Mart made there stocks worth more and old dumb Al was the fall guy in case it did not work. Wall-Mart is just like everyone else, they are there to make money. For an example: In Leitchfield Wall-Mart gas is $3.69, here in Hartford they are $3.39 untill they run all the buss. out of buss. they want, and in Owensboro they are $3.44 and they buy loads of gas at least every other day. Think about it, the oil companies are selling all the gas that the no-names buy at a cheaper price than their own name brand stores, which is any where form 10-20 cents/gal. now days. The reason they do this is because for 1 they do not have to put any additives in the gas to make your car run better,keep your injectors clean,lube the inside of the engine and last but not least give you better fuel mileage. To show you what the oil companies will do, look and see what the amount of lead is in refined gasoline.(answere is 0, none) If you remember back in the 1980’s the oil companies were crying saying that it was costing them a small fortune to take the lead out of gasoline when all along they were having to buy the lead and pour it in the trailer when we ordered a load of gas. They raised their prices and got to quit buying the lead to put in it!!! You want to save another 10%, stop this junky Ethanol from being sold! The 1st thing is that it cost more to make than you can sell gasoline for by using corn to make it with and the Federal Gov. is sub. it to get the price down so it can even be sold. If they would do the write thing and make it out of a grass, then they most likely could make it cheap enough to off set the lose in fuel mileage, which is around 10% on branded Ethanol compared to Branded 100% Gasoline.(You can look it up and that is a proven fact) I had a Dodge dealers mechanic tell me just yesterday that the Ethanol was already causing big time problems even on new auto’s,computors,sensors,injectors and the list went on! The main thing about the Ethanol is the Oil Companies are getting to sell more gas again on the Save The Inviroment bull when they are selling more gallons of gasoline because of fuel mileage and then get to sell the Ethanol on top of that. If they are selling more gas because of the lose in mileage then the emmisons are even worse than before. Ethanol by it self may burn cleaner but we are not using 100% Ethanol and you still have the gas emmisions like always. I had a customer with a new model Chevy truck which is a mechanic, buy 1 tank of E-85 and went from 24 mpg to 15 mpg on the exact same trip to work and back driving 4 lane roads with both tanks. Of course the Fed. Gov. wants this Ethanol so they can can get more 18 cents/gal., because the worst fuel mileage you get the more 18 cents they get, because of idiots like Al Gore that uses more electric than 10 familys do, but it is allright for him just because he is mister Al (Idiot) Gore. The Ethanol will never be made out of any grasses because it will have no cash value to it, like corn where the futures plays with the prices and makes money, and of course the farmers do not want it either because of the same reason. From the retailers stand point Ethanol is a nightmare because of the problems we have with it. The main thing is that it will cause any water that is in the tank to stay floating in the gas and will never seperate and go back to the bottom, which means that I will have to get as much water off the bottom of the tank and put filters on every gas hose to keep my cust. from getting water in there gas. More expense on something that I have got to sell at cost most all the time. It will also desolve any rust or anything else in the tank and float it too for someones filter to stop hopefully! The last bunch of crookes is the auto industry itself. You can talk to any older mechanic and they will all tell you stories that if they would just put out what they already have, all cars would be getting 50+ mpg and pickup trucks would be getting at least 30+ even with V-8’s. Its not the number of cylinders, it is what they are not using to give us mileage. For an example: We bought a used 06 Dodge Dakota for the store use and when we 1st got it the best that I could get was 16.5 on the road, resetting the computer at the same place every time and yes I have check my computer to paper and it is correct. Last trip that I made and checked it on the very same route I am now getting 23 mpg and all I did was change external parts like air filters, bed covers ect. nothing that you can’t buy at any parts store or on-line. I will help anyone out there that thinks that they can help to get the word out, with anything they want to know if they will help stop this scam before it is to late. You can call me at 270-993-7552 or e-mail me at charlie.travis.embry@gmail.com we can talk for at least a day about all the different angles that we as citizens of the USA are getting scammed. If you are interested in this please send someone that can at least figure gas mileage, you would be amazed at the number of people to day even collage grads that can not even figure fuel mileage or give change back with out using a calulator! Thanks for letting me get this off my chest because it worries me to no end how corp.s work today, screw you before you you have a chance to screw me. Charlie

  6. Brian permalink

    I agree 100%. I build ethanol plants all over the mid-west. I can tell you that ethanol is a JOKE to produce, refine and blend. It costs SO much to break the corn down and refine it that it is stupid….

  7. Wayne permalink

    I agree Charlie that ethanol is junk I have been able to avoid it for over a year now with 100% gas but as I refilled today I asked the station owner about if he was going to be able to continue getting real gas and he told me that he is down to only two places that he can get it and he also told me that he had to pay 1500.00 to get his tanks cleaned for the future ethanol and the men told him that when he gets the ethanol that they will have to change his gas filters every day for 7 days,Also when the etanol first started coming to stations and no one mentioned it to me about being in the gas (no 10% sticker)I was shocked trying to figure out why I lost about 3 to 4 mile per gallon then I was told about the (blend), Also I’m an over doer when it comes to watching my gas millage for I’ve checked every tank for years becauce it’s so easy and it makes me drive conservative, o.k. back to junk ethanol I beleive with so much gas millage lost what’s the benefit to ethanol for your still burning the same amount of oil to go the same distance but you still have to buy their ethanol and hope your car doesn’t break down becauce of it (fuel pump killer)thanks for letting me vent,Wayne

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