E85: good deal? Is it really profitable?

E85.

E85: good deal? Is it really profitable?

E85. The most economical fuel today, E85 is gaining more and more popularity. It is distributed by more and more stations and enjoys impressive growth and growing interest due to rising fuel prices.

Bio-ethanol known as E85 at the pump has experienced enormous growth in its volumes for several years, and the peak reached more than 30% in 2021. In total, more than 2,000 service stations now deliver fuel. bio-ethanol E85 to motorists in France. Finally, E85 remains the cheapest fuel on the market, at 0.78 euros per liter at the pump on average according to the last statement of March 8, 2022.

What make great savings, even if the E85 generally involves an increase in fuel consumption. Interested in this fuel easily usable on your car thanks to a box? If you plan to take the plunge and run on E85, find everything you need to know about this fuel below as well as our special file.

E85 is a fuel for gasoline vehicles. It is composed of unleaded mixed with ethanol. The latter is present at a maximum of 85%, which is the origin of its name: bio-ethanol E85, unlike the unleaded 95 E10, which contains only 10% ethanol. The ethanol inserted into E85 is produced from sugar (especially beets) or fermented and then distilled cereals. The process is therefore similar to that which makes it possible to obtain ethyl alcohol. E85 has been on sale in France since 2007.

The price of E85 bio-ethanol is much lower than unleaded like diesel. This is the number 1 argument in favor of this fuel. The price is around 79 cents per liter of E85 according to the March 2022 readings, which represents a significant saving compared to other fuels which approach or reach 2 euros per liter for diesel and unleaded 95. The installation is "quickly profitable", according to an article in the daily Le Parisien dated October 3, 2019. Installing an E85 conversion box would thus cost between "700 euros and 1,600 euros depending on the car model". According to Le Parisien, offers in LLD exist at less than 20 euros per month.

More and more service stations are equipped and offer pumps to run on E85. However, stations distributing E85 remain in the minority (about 25% compared to the approximately 11,000 service stations present in France). It's not much, but be aware that vehicles running on E85 can also be driven with 100% unleaded in the tank. So there is no risk of running out of gas since you can fill up with unleaded or E85 depending on what you find on your journey.

To drive on E85 bio ethanol, the easiest way is to own an E85 compatible vehicle, often called FlexFuel. New models are rare in France, however, as manufacturers have preferred to invest in ranges of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. However, there are a few, notably at Ford, which has invested heavily in this technology. The Ford Kuga FlexiFuel E85 has thus achieved great success and is now imitated by the Puma SUV or the Fiesta sedan. Otherwise, you have to turn to the second-hand market with several offers of recent models, in particular at Renault with the older generations of Mégane 3 and Scénic 3 or at Dacia via the Sandero or the Duster.

The other solution is to equip your vehicle with petrol. Recently, some bio-ethanol kits have been duly approved: the decree concerning these approvals was published in the Official Journal on December 15, 2017. With this kit, your vehicle will be able to run on E85 as well as on unleaded or unleaded -E10. The vehicle must meet at least Euro 3 standards, which would represent no less than 10 million vehicles in France.

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