Letter: Gasoline better buy over ethanol
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in October 2010 allowed the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to increase from its present 10 percent to 15 percent. According to the EPA, this E-85 fuel will be OK for use in cars and light trucks from 2001 models to present-day models.
If one looks at the facts about ethanol it takes 115 British Thermal Units (BTUs) to produce 100 BTUs of power. Another way of looking at this is: one gallon of ethanol produces only 76,000 BTUs of energy, whereas a gallon of gasoline produces 116,090 BTU of energy. You will have to buy 1.53 gallons of ethanol to 1.00 gallon of gasoline to try and get the same power.
What does this mean to the motorist? USA Today reported in its Dec. 20 edition that AAA did a cost study of the new E-85 fuel with the following results. They purchased regular gasoline at $2.82 per gallon. The price of the E-85 that day was $2.375 per gallon. "But when the price is adjusted for the lowered gas mileage vehicles will get, the E-85 prices equals $3.126 per gallon," AAA says.
It is apparent that the EPA took the line, hook and sinker that the ethanol industry was pedaling in spite of the poor dollar return that motorist will get with E-85.
I suggest that you avoid the E-85 fuel as it will only dramatically increase your cost of drive with no benefits.