E85 Ethanol: Check If You Already Have a Flex Fuel Car
Choosing E85 ethanol the next time you fill your vehicle's fuel tank would help reduce health-damaging auto emissions, decrease our dependence on foreign oil imports, and save you money, according to the American Coalition for Ethanol.
Many late-model cars are already "flex-fuel" vehicles, which means they can operate on either gasoline or E85 – a blended fuel that contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Some vehicles manufactured as early as 1999 are flex-fuel. Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel made from renewable plant materials, especially corn, as opposed to gasoline, a petroleum-based fuel made from non-renewable fossil fuels.
E85 has the highest oxygen content of any fuel available today, allowing it to burn more completely than conventional gasoline. Research shows that compared with fossil fuel, ethanol is associated with a 35 to 46 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. E85 also contains 80 percent fewer smog-forming compounds than gasoline, reports the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, which can reduce respiratory illnesses and help everybody breathe more healthfully.
Fortunately, E85 is easy to use and can be pumped into vehicles in the same manner as conventional gasoline. You could even save money by fueling your car with E85 ethanol.
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Because E85 is a relatively new product, it can be used only by flex-fuel vehicles — those manufactured to use either type of fuel. Take a moment to check if your vehicle can run on E85.
E85 continues to grow in popularity, but there are a limited number of service stations offering the alternative fuel, and six states do not have pump service at all (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). See if there is an E85 fuel station near you. There are more than 2,400 total locations and 280 blender pump locations in the United States that offer E85.
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