Many consumers actually report improved gas mileage and engine performance with ethanol blends above E10 — especially E15 and E30.
Because ethanol contains less energy than petroleum-based gasoline, you may see a slight drop in your gas mileage when using a higher blend such as E85; however, the price per gallon advantage of higher ethanol blends typically still outweighs this imbalance.
In other words, it’s not just about miles per gallon. It’s also about cost per mile. Here’s how the math works:
- Assume that using E85 may result in a miles-per-gallon reduction of up to 12%.
- If E85 costs 12% less than E10, you’re miles — and money — ahead.
- So, if E10 costs $2.00 per gallon, E85 would need to cost 24¢ less ($1.76) in order for you to “break even.” And every penny discount above 24¢ reduces your cost per mile even further.
The reality is, E85 blends will almost always be priced at a much greater discount than 12%. If it’s not, you need to find another fuel retailer!