PHH Arval Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Study Part 5: Ethanol
October 31, 2012
By Sarah Mallonga, Project Manager, Strategic Consulting for PHH Arval
This is the fifth part of a series of articles from PHH’s Strategic Consulting group on alternative fuel vehicles. Here we examine ethanol-fueled vehicles.
Ethanol is produced from renewable sources such as corn, sugar cane or other biomass sources. To develop motor fuel, a percentage of ethanol is blended with unleaded gasoline. Any amount of ethanol can be combined with gasoline, but the most common blends are E10, a “low-level” blend of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline, and E85, a “high-level” blend of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline.
E10 is approved for use in any make or model of vehicle sold in the U.S. and Canada. Since E10 can be used in any gasoline vehicle, ethanol content is not always labeled at the gas pump. In some areas the use of E10 is mandated to reduce emissions, and consumers don't have the option to choose 100-percent gasoline.
E85 is a high-level blend. Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) are equipped with a slightly modified internal combustion engine and are designed to run on either gasoline or E85 (or lower-level blends). E85 cannot be legally used in conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.
Fleets that might consider adding ethanol-fueled vehicles are best served in the following scenarios:
- Passenger vehicles and light duty applications in U.S.
- Operate in region(s) with E85 fueling stations available
The following are pros and cons of these vehicles:
E85 / Flex-Fuel Vehicles
For a more detailed analysis of the AFVs that would be best suited for your specific fleet, please contact your PHH Account Team.
Our previous articles on AFVs include:
- Hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids
- Electric vehicles
- Natural gas vehicles (CNG/LNG)
- Propane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles
The next featured AFV analysis will be on diesel-fueled vehicles.