The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has just released an easy-to-use online calculator just in time for the holidays to help drivers find out how much money they can save by choosing ethanol blends like E15 and E85.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – enter retail prices for E10, E15 and E85. Prices from thousands of stations nationwide, along with state and national averages, are available at E85prices.com.
Step 2 – enter the total miles driven for a specific trip or time period
Step 3 – enter average fuel economy of vehicle when using E10.
Step 4 – shows cost of trip on E10
Step 5 – shows the savings that result from using E15 or E85 instead of E10
For example, today’s national average prices are $2.52 per gallon for E10, $2.43 for E15, and $1.81 for E85. The Smith family is driving from Omaha to Denver and back for the Thanksgiving holiday (1,080 miles roundtrip). The Smith family’s flex fuel vehicle gets the national average fuel economy of 24.8 miles per gallon (mpg), meaning it would get approximately 24.4 mpg on E15 and 19.2 mpg on E85. The calculator shows the Smith family would spend almost $110 on fuel if they use E10 for the trip. If they use E85 instead, they would spend less than $102 on fuel. And using E15 instead of E10 would mean the Smiths spend less than $108 on fuel.
The calculator also allows users to calculate annual savings. The average U.S. family drove 25,600 miles last year, meaning they could save $190 or $50 on their annual fuel bill by using E85 or E15, respectively, instead of E10 (based on current national average prices). RFA also notes that standard 10% ethanol, which accounts for the majority of fuel sales in the nation, is still a savings compared to gasoline without ethanol (E0) which is currently $2.84 per gallon, 13% higher than the average price for E10.