A Renewable Fuels Association analysis of new Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that federally-regulated fleets more than doubled their usage of E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) and other flex fuels between 2010 and 2016.
According to the EIA data, federally-regulated fleets, including government and transit agencies, used 17.9 million gallons of E85 in 2010, increasing to more than 38 million gallons in 2016, the most recent data available. Flex fuel vehicles can run on fuel blends containing up to E85.
E85 was 47 cents per gallon cheaper than E10 on average in 2016, equating to an average discount of 20 percent, according to E85prices.com, a database operated by RFA.
The analysis also shows that the combined 2010-2016 E85 usage by fleets yielded nearly 515,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions, equivalent to eliminating the emissions from 500 million pounds of burned coal or the amount of carbon sequestered in a year by 600,000 acres of forestland.
“For more than a decade, RFA has worked with federal, state, and private fleets and fuel retailers to ensure greater access to E85 and greater awareness about the capabilities of FFVs,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “Thanks in part to RFA’s efforts, E85 can now be found at more retail outlets, benefitting fleets and consumers alike with a lower-cost, higher octane and cleaner fuel.”
The EIA data indicate that federal fleet FFVs consumed 98 gallons of E85 on average in 2016, meaning E85 likely accounted for approximately 15-20% of annual fuel consumption for those FFVs.