Explainer: What is E85 fuel? And can it save you money at the pump?

E85 is a type of gasoline that is priced significantly lower. In some states, including Kansas and Missouri, you can get it as cheap as $2.67 a gallon.E85 is 85% ethanol while most other types of gasoline are E10 or 10% ethanol.Before rushing to the nearest E85 station, mechanics said drivers need to make sure their vehicles can take E85 gas.At a gas station near Kansas City, several drivers were filling up with the corn-based gasoline.”We didn’t use it for the longest time but once things really started skyrocketing, it’s a no-brainer,” said Derek Elliott as he filled up his Ford F-150 with E85 gas.Elliott said he switched over from regular gas about three months ago and said the savings have made a huge difference.”I’m probably going to put in the ballpark of 20 some odd gallons. You can do that math,” Elliott said. “That’s $25, $30 every time.”Sister station KMBC talked with mechanics who said the savings might not be that noticeable because E85 won’t deliver the same fuel mileage as regular gas.”Anything you’d save at the pump, you’re going to lose driving your car,” said John Schupp, of Sci-Tech Automotive.They also have a warning for drivers who believe they might save a few bucks by using E85 in a car that’s not rated for it.”You’ll probably have a tow truck taking it to the shop because, after about two tanks of E85, a car that’s not equipped for it probably won’t run,” Schupp said.A yellow gas cap is a way to tell if your vehicle can take E85 to prevent a mechanic’s bill.The ethanol Renewable Fuel Association said it is seeing interest explode not only in people filling up with the type of fuel but from stations that will offer it.”Let’s be honest, everybody is looking for another option at the pump and if they have the right vehicle, this fuel provides all the incentive that they need,” said Robert White, VP of industry relations for the association.He said while ethanol does get lower fuel economy, the price difference is so large right now in many parts of the country it will still save most drivers money in the long run.”If you translate down and calculate down to the dollars per mile E85 will be way ahead of gasoline today,” White said.He also said there’s a rising interest nationwide in the fuel and in some parts of the country ethanol will double or triple in growth this year alone.”We’re seeing drastic increases not only in the consumption of E85 at these E85 stations, but also in the interest of retailers wanting to offer the product,” White said.Back at the gas pump near Kansas City, Elliott said he hasn’t noticed a big change in his fuel economy but he does see a big change in his bank account with using E85.”A lot of people have asked me about it because we use it: What does it do to gas mileage?” he said “I just know what it does for me. When I finish fueling up, there’s a massive difference.”

E85 is a type of gasoline that is priced significantly lower. In some states, including Kansas and Missouri, you can get it as cheap as $2.67 a gallon.

E85 is 85% ethanol while most other types of gasoline are E10 or 10% ethanol.

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Before rushing to the nearest E85 station, mechanics said drivers need to make sure their vehicles can take E85 gas.

At a gas station near Kansas City, several drivers were filling up with the corn-based gasoline.

“We didn’t use it for the longest time but once things really started skyrocketing, it’s a no-brainer,” said Derek Elliott as he filled up his Ford F-150 with E85 gas.

Elliott said he switched over from regular gas about three months ago and said the savings have made a huge difference.

“I’m probably going to put in the ballpark of 20 some odd gallons. You can do that math,” Elliott said. “That’s $25, $30 every time.”

Sister station KMBC talked with mechanics who said the savings might not be that noticeable because E85 won’t deliver the same fuel mileage as regular gas.

“Anything you’d save at the pump, you’re going to lose driving your car,” said John Schupp, of Sci-Tech Automotive.

They also have a warning for drivers who believe they might save a few bucks by using E85 in a car that’s not rated for it.

“You’ll probably have a tow truck taking it to the shop because, after about two tanks of E85, a car that’s not equipped for it probably won’t run,” Schupp said.

A yellow gas cap is a way to tell if your vehicle can take E85 to prevent a mechanic’s bill.

The ethanol Renewable Fuel Association said it is seeing interest explode not only in people filling up with the type of fuel but from stations that will offer it.

“Let’s be honest, everybody is looking for another option at the pump and if they have the right vehicle, this fuel provides all the incentive that they need,” said Robert White, VP of industry relations for the association.

He said while ethanol does get lower fuel economy, the price difference is so large right now in many parts of the country it will still save most drivers money in the long run.

“If you translate down and calculate down to the dollars per mile E85 will be way ahead of gasoline today,” White said.

He also said there’s a rising interest nationwide in the fuel and in some parts of the country ethanol will double or triple in growth this year alone.

“We’re seeing drastic increases not only in the consumption of E85 at these E85 stations, but also in the interest of retailers wanting to offer the product,” White said.

Back at the gas pump near Kansas City, Elliott said he hasn’t noticed a big change in his fuel economy but he does see a big change in his bank account with using E85.

“A lot of people have asked me about it because we use it: What does it do to gas mileage?” he said “I just know what it does for me. When I finish fueling up, there’s a massive difference.”

Contributed by local news sources

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