The Auto Channel Gives THUMBS UP to National Farmers Union Resolution on E30 Use

Source: By Marc J. Rauch, The Auto Channel • Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I spent several years testing and proving that ethanol-gasoline blends higher than E10 could be safely and economically used in all late model passenger cars sold in the United States, not just flex fuel vehicles. I did this testing with manufacturer test vehicles during drive reviews, with vehicles I rented while on personal and business trips, and with my own 2002 non-flex fuel Ford Taurus. I wrote about my experiences on several occasions and made it one of the highlights of my live presentations at venues around America and other parts of the world.

Interestingly, my best performance with my non-flex fuel Ford Taurus was with blend levels between E30 and E50. And as I wrote back in December, I traded in my Taurus for a much newer flex fuel Dodge caravan. Since that time I have been testing different blend levels and have so far found that the best MPG is attained when I’m using E40 (approximate).

For those of you wondering, I am able to test the various ethanol-gasoline levels by doing “splash blending” (this means I pump in a desired amount of E85 and then fill it the rest of the way with E10). I then use my hard-earned math skills to figure out an approximate average.

I had heard about and read other reports that also concluded that ethanol-gasoline blend levels between E25 and E50 produced the best MPG results in passenger vehicles manufactured for gasoline use. In vehicles with engines and fuel systems designed specifically for ethanol fuels, E85 or higher would produce even better results.

Earlier this month, during their annual meeting, the National Farmers Union called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol in a landmark resolution passed by the group. “National Farmers Union, as an organization, considers increased ethanol use one of the most important demand drivers for American agriculture,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “Members are taking a stand against EPA regulations that limit the use of ethanol blends in non-flex vehicles.”

Consequently, based upon The Auto Channel’s own findings we congratulate the National Framers Union for taking this position. The resolution brought forward by the South Dakota Farmers Union delegation to the convention promotes the use of higher blended fuels, like Premium E30. “We see this as a continued effort to continue efforts to expand retail fuels infrastructure and to further support the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Sombke explained. He also stated “Ethanol is a critically important part of our future and higher ethanol blends are key to creating demand for ethanol and corn. EPA and all government regulators should immediately reverse statements and policies that unfairly limit the amount of ethanol we can put in our cars.”

According to a press release issued by South Dakota Farmers Union (one of 33 state affiliates which make up the grassroots National Farmers Union organization), “Data shows Premium E30 Works in Non-Flex Fuel Vehicles…Premium E30 is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a potentially optimum blend level. Data collected during a recent Glacial Lakes Energy’s E30 Challenge, Watertown, South Dakota showed that non-flex fuel vehicles run better on E30 than flex fuel vehicles.”

Brad Brunner, Ethanol Marketing Manager Glacial Lakes Energy, said “This high octane, cleaner burning fuel is available at a lower cost and provides consumer choice while supporting local communities.”