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Using E85 in Non-Flex Fuel Vehicles Can Save Almost $1 per Gallon and Fight Terrorism

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Fuel prices at Union 76 station, University Avenue, Berkeley, Calif.

SEE ALSO: Flex-Fuel Cars, SUV's and Trucks Sold in USA

Using E85 in Non-Flex Fuel Vehicle Can Save almost $1 per Gallon and Fight Terrorism

If you’re okay with terrorism and the current gasoline prices you can skip this article…if not, you may want to read it

By Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher

I had to drive over to San Francisco the other day and I was testing a brand new car, as usual. It was a Mazda3, non-flex fuel, gasoline powered car. The car, by the way, is great – handles well, comfortable, good looking, fun, and excellent value for the money (starts under $16k).

Well, by the time I got near SF, I was almost out of fuel. Not wanting to get busy looking for gasoline in The City, I stopped in Berkeley at a Union 76 station that I normally use. I use this station because they also have E85 (a blend of approximately 85% ethanol with 15% gasoline). As you all know, gasoline prices are ridiculous, and while news reports talk about the national average price nearing $4 per gallon for regular, California has had $4-plus prices for months.

Looking to save money, I filled half the tank with E85 and then topped off using regular-unleaded gasoline. Since the Mazda3 only needs regular 87-octane I only saved 75 cents per gallon on the seven gallons of E85 I purchased. Not a fortune, I admit, but the $5 is better in my pocket than in the purse of some terrorist oil producer. SEE PHOTO ABOVE for prices.

Of course, if I was driving something that uses premium gasoline, I would have saved about $1 per gallon on every gallon of E85 I used in place of gasoline. For those of you who are not aware of it, E85 is rated at 105 octane; premium gasoline is just 92 octane.

I’ve written about this subject many times before; commenting on how virtually all modern (last 20 years) gasoline-powered vehicles can use E85 to help save money, protect the environment, and deprive foreign terrorist regimes from further padding their bank accounts. You can read some previous stories by clicking HERE and HERE.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Last night I received an email from our friend David Blume, author of “Alcohol Can Be A Gas.” If David is not the single most knowledgeable person on the use and production of ethanol as an engine fuel, he’s a really close second. David wanted to share an email that he received earlier that evening. It came from Josh Whelan in Madison, WI. Josh read David’s book and this is what he wrote:

“…this morning I decided to take a leap of faith and fill my 98 VW golf with E-85. After driving 150 miles, I still can't tell the difference and I spent $10 less to fill my tank…Now I'm going to have to stop buying traditional gasoline and spend the money I've saved buying copies of your book for everyone I know.”

As David describes in his book, and as we at have verified for ourselves, it is possible to safely use E85 immediately in any modern gasoline-powered vehicle without any modifications to the engine.

If saving money on fuel is of interest to you, you should read the stories referenced above and/or visit David Blume’s website at

You might also enjoy these videos we produced about ethanol:

RoadTrip: Driving and Alcohol Do Mix
American Coalition for Ethanol Conference