U.S. car sales in 2015 hit record sales according to statistics from Autodata. Increased sales have been spurred by cheap gasoline prices coupled with low interest rates. In total, 17.5 million cars and light trucks were sold last year to the tune of $570 billion.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a majority of these vehicles sold are approved for the use of E15 (15 percent ethanol; 85 percent gas). In 2016, an even more cars and light trucks are expected to be approved for E15 use by automakers.
RFA estimates that E15 was identified by auto manufacturers as an approved fuel for slightly more than 60 percent of model year (MY) 2015 vehicles sold – nearly 10.7 million cars and light trucks. This number is expected to grow in 2016, as strong sales are expected to continue and more than 70 percent of MY2016 vehicles carry the manufacturers’ explicit endorsement of E15. Recent analysis by RFA showed that Fiat Chrylser, General Motors, Ford, Toyota/Lexus, Audi/Porsche/Volkswagen, Honda/Acura, Jaguar, and Land Rover all clearly identify E15 as an approved fuel for MY2016 vehicles.
“With each passing day, the number of automakers approving the use of E15 vehicles on U.S. roadways continues to grow,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “As we begin 2016 three important trends are worth noting: first, vehicle sales show no signs of slowing down; second, an even larger percentage of new cars, pickups, and SUVs are explicitly approved by their manufacturer for E15; and third, the oldest vehicles in the fleet— model years 2000 and older not EPA-approved for E15 use —are being scrapped at an accelerated rate. This means that someday in the not-so-distant future, nearly every car, truck, or SUV in the country will be unambiguously approved by the auto manufacturer for E15 and we can put to rest the false notion that carmakers don’t allow the use of E15.”
While automakers only began identifying E15 as an approved fuel for new vehicles following registration of E15 as a legal fuel in 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 in all vehicles built since 2001. This means more than 85 percent of the vehicles on the road today are legally approved to use E15.