Ethanol Fuel Blends


When you fill up your vehicle, you have more fuel choices than ever before.


That’s because today’s gasoline is often blended with a renewable plant-based fuel called ethanol. Ethanol has been tested and approved by the EPA as safe to use in just about every car on the road in the last 20 years.

Always Check Your Owner's Manual

Some higher blends of ethanol fuel are not approved for vehicles model year 2000 and older, motorcycles, off- road vehicles (like snowmobiles and boats), vehicles with heavy-duty engines (such as buses and delivery trucks) or engines in off-road equipment (like lawnmowers and chainsaws).

Which Fuel Should I Use?

10% Ethanol Blend: E10 - Unleaded - Regular


15% Ethanol Blend: E15 - Unleaded15 - Unleaded88 - UNL88 - Regular88

Safe for all cars, light trucks, SUVs and Flex Fuel vehicles manufactured after 2001, according to EPA. Most cars currently under warranty in the US have a warranty that approved the use of gas with 15% ethanol.

Big oil companies see e15 as cutting into their profits, so they have recycled their massive lobbying and misinformation campaign against ethanol. Use the following information as background to drive away the misinformation surrounding E15.

  • A factsheet on Reid vapor pressure (RVP) and E15 is available here.
  • An interview with Dr. Andy Randolph from ECR Engines discussed RVP and E15 on AgriTalk 4.12.22 - available here.


On May 30, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule extending the 1-psi Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to fuel blends containing gasoline and up to 15 percent ethanol (E15). Unsurprisingly, oil refiners soon challenged the rulemaking in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to undermine the expansion of E15 and cling to their status-quo market share.

In August 2020, biofuel/ag allies filed a brief as intervenors in the oil industry’s lawsuit against EPA’s E15 year-round regulation. While not an intervenor, ACE supported this action, which provided backing to EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act that holds E15 to the same gasoline volatility standards as E10.

In April 2021, oral arguments took place in the D.C. Circuit Court.

On July 2, 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed EPA’s 2019 regulation. ACE continues to believe EPA's interpretation of the Clean Air Act holding E15 to the same gasoline volatility standards as E10 is consistent with Congressional intent while reflecting the improvements in future motor fuels Congress anticipated. 

Congress got to work to remedy the situation by introducing the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act in the Senate and the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act in the House. The bills clarify E15 should be allowed for sale year-round by extending the 1-psi Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to fuel blends containing gasoline and 'over 10 percent ethanol.' You can join ACE in calling on your members of Congress to support this bipartisan legislation using our Action Center at!

There is also an effort at the state level by Midwestern governors to explore options to ensure retailers can continue to sell E15 all year long without interruption. They sent a letter Nov. 4, 2021 to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. 

On April 12, 2022, the Administration announced it was directing EPA to issue an emergency waiver so E15 can be sold during the 2022 summer months. In addition to implementing this emergency fuel waiver, EPA is also considering action to facilitate the use of E15 year-round, including continued discussions with states who have expressed interest in allowing year-round use of E15 and considering modifications to E15 fuel pump labeling. More on this news available here.


E15 is a Clean, Safe, & Low Cost Fuel. But, don't take our word for it. Learn from the experiences of the gas station owners offering the blend to their customers.

Is E15 safe to use for my vehicle? Hear it from the people on the front line: fuel retailers. If anyone knows about what fuels are good for engines, it's the people selling it to drivers.

Learn more in our E15 & Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap:


Learn from retailers talking to other retailers about E15 and flex fuels:


E15 Misinformation - What are the opponents saying?

E15 Causes More Smog.

  • FALSE: E15 does not increase smog. In fact, the EPA concludes E15 emits less ozone-forming hydrocarbons than gasoline-not more. Testing on real world fuels has validated that petroleum-derived, cancer-causing aromatics are the leading cause of smog. According to the American Lung Association, up to 70 percent of ozone-forming pollutants come from transportation fuels. Gasoline contains as many as 300 different chemicals. Many of these carcinogens are used to increase octane, but some are known and suspected to cause cancer. Higher blends of biofuel dilute the level of toxic additives in our fuel, which helps reduce pollution and the threat to public health. 

E15 Has Negative Impacts on the Environment. 

  • FALSE: Quite the oppposite. Ethanol is BETTER for the environment. According to a 2017 USDA study, ethanol is cleaner than ever and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with ethanol are 43 percent lower than gasoline. This report found greater lifecycle GHG benefits from corn ethanol than a number of earlier studies, driven by a variety of improvements in ethanol production, from the corn field to the ethanol refinery. Farmers are producing corn more efficiently and using conservation practices that reduce GHG emissions, including reduced tillage, cover crops and improved nitrogen management. At the same time, advances in ethanol production technologies, such as the use of combined heat and power, using landfill gas for energy, and co-producing biodiesel helped reduce GHG emissions at ethanol plants. By 2022, given current trends, the GHG profile of corn-based ethanol is expected to be at least 50 percent lower than gasoline primarily due to improvements in corn yields, process fuel switching, and transportation efficiency. {Source}

E15 Raises Gas Prices and is Expensive.

  • FALSE: Ethanol helps drive gas prices down as ethanol blends help cut expensive fuel additives that are needed for premium (non-ethanol) gasoline. E15 typically costs 2 to 10 cents per gallon less than E10 and gasoline, so refusing to allow the sale of this fuel in the summer season also robs consumers of the opportunity to buy a lower cost product. " is reasonable to say that having an extra 10 percent of our gasoline provided by ethanol is increasing the total amount of fuel available while eliminating the need for other oxygenates and octane boosters, thus exerting a downward pressure on petroleum prices." {Source}

E15 Can be Harmful for Our Cars and is Not Covered By Warranties.

  • FALSE: E15 was approved by EPA in 2011 after more than two years of testing to prove it was safe to use in cars and light duty trucks built in model year 2001 and later. That’s more than 17 model-years  —  a whopping 90% of the cars on the road today, which account for 97 percent of the fuel consumption in the U.S. American drivers have logged approximately 5 billion miles on the fuel without a single reported case of “engine damage,” misfueling, or inferior performance. Think about that 9 of every 10 cars on the road are E15 approved, including more than 22 million FFVs designed to use any fuel. Travelers Motor Club and Association Motor Club Marketing, with more than 20 million auto club members in all 50 states, report no engine damage from ethanol and endorse E15 as safe and affordable. E15 is also an automaker approved fuel, covered under warranty for use in more than 55 million vehicles on the road today. In addition to 22 million Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) in operation, more than 30 million cars and light trucks in the last 5 model years are approved to use E15 under their auto manufacturers’ warranty. All warranties may not cover the fuel blend, especially if you have an older vehicle, but each year, more auto manufactuers explicitly approve E15 in warranty statements and owner's manuals. Nearly 90 percent of all 2018 model year (MY) vehicles manufactured in the United States have warranties that approve the fuel blend for usage. {Source}  Plus, around 80 percent of cars on the road don't have warranties on them.

Infrastructure is Too Expensive for Most Retailers to offer E15 at Their Stations.

  • FALSE: The majority of retail sites already have E15 compatible equipment. Take fuel retailer James Poynter with Pump & Pantry for example. He says, "Basically, we identified the dispensers, changed the overlays, changed the blending buttons, and we were off and running. No digging, as long as you have the ethanol blender dispenser, it could go in tomorrow at a pretty minimal cost." Watch the video of retailers answer the question: Could I afford it?

E15 Increases Food Prices

  • FALSE: Numerous studies have looked at the correlation of food prices and the domestic fuel market. The concensus is that energy prices play more of a factor than ethanol does. {Source}

American Petroleum Institute (API) Lies

Following the E15 year-round announcement in 2019, API issued a press release loaded with false information. Get the facts straight about the inaccurate statements below.


"...drivers may need extra cash to pay the mechanic if federal regulations keep forcing more ethanol into the fuel supply."

E15 fuel has been approved for use in vehicles 2001 and newer (over 90% of the cars on the road). Stories of E15 damaging cars do not exist. You need go no further than the testimonials of gas station owners and mechanics who couldn't recall a single claim or customer issue with E15. "I don't believe we've had one complaint or one payout because of an ethanol claim or problems with an engine. It just has never happened." -Kent Satrang, CEO of PetroServe USA. Watch the video of testimonials here

"Nearly three out of every four vehicles on the road today are not designed for E15 gasoline and a number of automakers have even said that E15 may cause damage that is not covered by warranties."

Ninety percent of all vehicles in the U.S. are approved to use E15. About 75 percent of cars are covered under warranty to use E15. Learn more about cars and light trucks designed to use E15 in our E15 & Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap. Also, click here for EPA's description of what kind of testing was done before E15 was approved for public use.

"The Society of Independent Gaoline Marketers of America and National Association of Convenience Stores say 'most retailers that sell E15 or E85 have seen minimal sales of these products.' By contrast, 'there is a significant demand in the market' for 'non-blended' gasoline or E0, ethanol-free gasoline."

Retailers selling E15 and higher blends refute that statement as evidenced throughout Gwen McDiarmid, owner of the renovated Blue Heron Renewable Flex Fuel Plaza in Gothenburg, Nebraska, says, "My gallons were up dramatically in that first year [since adding E15], and this is the second year since I've had it and I'm continuing to raise it 3, 4, or 5 percent per month. And all my blends are going up." Bob O'Connor, owner of Jetz Convenicne Centers in Wisonsin, echoes that statement, "The main thing is that when more people come through my door, they buy flex fuels, but they also buy everything else too. Not only did we sell higher blends of ethanol to create a new profit center for ourselves, but as kind of a coincidence, all of our gasoline went up in volume." Charlie Good, owner of the Good & Quick c-store in Nevada, Iowa, explains that "I made the decision to put in E15 and flex fuels as my way to survive and I thought it was very important to survive that way because there are going to be more and more people using this. More and more are going to want this and I'm going to be the leader, not a follower." Watch the video here.

E15: A Clean Win for Everyone

E15 fuel

E15 was approved by EPA in 2011 after more than two years of testing to prove it was safe to use in cars and light duty trucks built in model year 2001 and later. That’s more than 17 model-years — a whopping 90% of the cars on the road today, which account for 97 percent of the fuel consumption in the U.S. American drivers have logged approximately 5 billion miles on the fuel without a single reported case of “engine damage,” misfueling, or inferior performance.

Think about it: 9 of every 10 cars in America can motor safely with E15, which has a lower price and higher octane rating than Unleaded and even E10. That’s an enormous market.

Stations selling E15 are gaining new customers and improving profits every day. Today there are over 2,440 retail locations in 30 states selling E15. Most large retail chains committed to selling E15 include Sheetz, Thorntons, Kum & Go, RaceTrac, Casey's, QuikTrip, Kwik Trip, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Cenex, Protec Fuel, Family Express, MAPCO and Rutter's. And the small station guys are making the switch too!

For more information about ethanol, please contact the ACE office at 605-334-3381. We have people on staff who have decades of experience working at all levels in the petroleum industry, including experience with ethanol blends.

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