E85 & Flex Fuel
A flex fuel vehicle (FFV) is designed to run on any ethanol blend, from E10 to E85. There are more than 19 million FFVs on the road today.
There are several websites you can use to see if you drive a flex fuel vehicle. You can also check your owner’s manual, look for a flex fuel badge on your vehicle, or check the inside of your fuel door for a yellow gas cap or decal.
With a flex fuel vehicle, you have ultimate choice at the pump. You can fill up with any blend of ethanol - from E10 to E85 - in any amount at any time. A computer in the engine automatically adjusts for the varying percentage of ethanol in the fuel.
With a flex fuel vehicle, you can take advantage of fluctuating fuel prices by choosing an ethanol blend that makes economic sense in terms of cost per mile. In today's world of lower gas prices, the savings aren't as obvious but they're still happening! Not to mention how much cleaner E85 burns - better for both your engine and the air you breathe.
Better cost per mile
Ethanol contains less energy (BTUs) than petroleum-based gasoline. That difference is negligible in lower ethanol blends such as E10 or E15.
Because of the lower energy value, you may see a slight drop in your gas mileage when you use higher blends such as E85. However, the price advantage of higher blends needs to be taken into account when you make your fuel choice.
In other words, it’s not just about miles per gallon. It’s also about cost per mile.
This is especially true if you drive a flex fuel vehicles that can use any blend of ethanol.
Here’s how the math works:
Assume that using E85 may result in miles-per-gallon reduction of up to 12%
If E85 costs 12% less (or greater) than E10, you’re miles - and money - ahead.
So, if E10 costs $2,00 per gallon, E85 would need to cost 24 cents less ($1.76) in order for you to “break even.” And every penny discount above 24 cents reduces your cost per mile even further.
This online calculator helps you quickly determine the price advantage of ethanol blends versus fuel that contains no ethanol.
Flex fuel pump
A flex fuel pump offers several ethanol blends. If you own a flex fuel vehicle, you can fill up with E20, E30, E40 or E85.