The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol content (E15) for use in 2001 and newer vehicles. At the same time, the EPA also ruled it illegal to use the E15 fuel in vehicles older than 2001. Presently, most gasoline sold for automotive use in the U.S. is E10.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) has announced it is opposed to the sale of E15 gasoline. A recent AAA survey found that 95 percent of its members were unaware of E15 or that the blended fuel might damage their vehicles and/or void the warranty. Currently, only 5 percent of vehicles are approved by automakers to use the fuel. Therefore, AAA has requested suspending E15 sales until motorists are better informed and protected.
The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) also opposes the introduction of E15 based on scientific evidence that it causes corrosion with incompatible parts. Ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. E15 may also burn hotter than E10 gasoline and cause damage to certain powertrain parts. For more information, visit www.smarterfuelfuture.org.