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I Just Saved 38% on a Fill-Up By Using E85 - You Can Too!

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A silver lining to the cloud we've been living under

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

Thursday afternoon, I filled my 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan with E85 fuel at a Chevron station. I SAVED NEARLY $32 versus the price of regular E10 fuel.

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If I saved this much every week, 4 times per month, that would be a $128 savings. WOW!

And, the full picture is even better! E85 can contain as much as 105 octane, which is why it's sometimes used as race fuel. Mid-range fuel is usually around 89 octane, and premium fuel is about 92 octane. So the more accurate price comparison is not to regular 87 octane fuels, but to mid-range and premium (Chevron calls mid-range "PLUS" and premium "SUPREME".

If I compared my savings to the price of Chevron Supreme, I would have saved more than $37 on that one fill-up. That would be $148 over four fill-ups. Calculated over a year that would be $1,776.

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Oh my God, 1776, that's when the United States declared independence. If there was ever a clearer sign for ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, this is it!

Here's the deal:

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My van is a flex fuel van with a 17 gallon fuel tank. Thursday's fill-up took 16.69 gallons of fuel. The E85 price was $2.99 per gallon. The regular E10 price was $4.89, and the premium E10 price was $5.25 per gallon... a 38% savings of $1.90, and a 43% savings $2.26 per gallon, respectively.

You might say:

    "Well yeah, but you can use E85 in your van, I don't have a flex fuel car, so what's the big deal?"

The big deal is that there are lots of people with flex fuel vehicles who aren't using E85. They're using just E10 and wasting money. This is the clear reason to use E85 exclusively and save big time.

But, guess what? You don't need a flex fuel vehicle to use E85. You can put E85 in any gasoline-powered internal combustion engine vehicle regardless of whether it's flex fuel or not, and regardless of your vehicle's age and manufacturer. The only difference is that you might not fill your non-flex fuel vehicle exclusively with E85. You might just fill your tank halfway with E85 and the rest with E10. This would give you an effective blend level of around E35 to E45.

If you filled a 16 gallon tank halfway with E10 at $4.89 per gallon, and the balance with E85 at $2.99, you would save $1.90 per gallon on 8 gallons. That's more than $15 in savings, and because an ethanol-gasoline blend of around E40 can often deliver better mileage than just E10 or E0, the effective savings per miles-per-gallon is even more.

A $15 savings might not make you a millionaire, but if you took some or all of that savings and purchased extra lottery tickets, it might make you a millionaire ... or at least buy some extra groceries so that you can eat a little richer!

Is it possible to do this, to use E85 in any gasoline-powered internal combustion engine vehicle? ABSOLUTELY. For more details about this, including my personal hands-on experiences with using E85 in non-flex fuel vehicles, CLICK HERE.