Ethanol is a liquid renewable fuel derived from corn or other bio mass products. Many vehicles are designed to run on an 85% ethanol/15% gasoline blend called E85. These flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) also may use regular gas, or any blend of E85 and regular gas. Ethanol is usually comparable in cost to regular unleaded gas. Tailpipe emissions are less compared with gasoline and, like biodiesel, on a life cycle basis, ethanol approaches net zero in greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel economy is slightly less, but a higher octane rating can improve performance.

Ethanol Characteristics

¨ Refueling is the same (from users perspective) as gasoline or diesel.
¨ Fuel economy about 5-20% less than conventional gasoline by volume of fuel
¨ Cost per gallon ranges from the same to about 20% higher or more than regular unleaded gas; costs influenced by government production subsidies.
¨ Performance can be superior due to higher octane; cold weather starting concerns are normally addressed by providing 70% ethanol as a "winter blend."
¨ Emissions are the same as gasoline, e.g. NOx, or about 30% less e.g. CO, than conventional gas.
¨ Modest but significant GHG emissions reductions on life-cycle basis compared with gasoline.


Central Ohio Clean Fuels Coalition

930 Kinnear Road • Columbus, OH 43212

Phone: (614) 292-5435 • Fax: (614) 688-4111

[email protected]



Copyright © 2003 Central Ohio Clean Fuels Coalition / kmaX Web Visuals

Links to Other Resources:

National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition -

More Information on Ethanol from the Alternative Fuels Data Center -

Alternative Fuel Station Locator -

Ethanol Users - Examples of Successful Fleet Users -

Niche Market Info - Various Bus/Transport types and Heavy Duty Trucks -

News from Around the U.S. and World Links to Policy Actions - Make a Difference! Are You A Member? Why Choose Clean, American Fuels? Visit the Ohio EPA's AirOhio Page MORPC's Ozone Action Program... Dispatch Op-Ed Article written by our Executive Director, Sam Spofforth