Does E-15 gasoline really save money

(Gray Photographer)
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:24 AM CDT
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The Biden Administration this spring gave the go-ahead for gas stations to sell E15 gasoline year-round this year to help drivers save on gas, as gas prices surge past $5 a gallon.

But does E15 really save you money?

Regular gasoline is 10% ethanol in most parts of the U.S. With that 10% ethanol coming from corn, to wean our dependence on oil. E15 is 15% ethanol.

All cars sold since 2001 are supposed to be able to run on it without any problems. E15 tends to be $.10 cheaper than gasoline, but the U.S Department of Energy says E15 contains less energy than gasoline, and can reduce mileage by up to 5%.

So, while you might save 5% on your fill-up, your car could get 5% lower mileage, making those savings evaporate.

  • But, from the “doesn’t that stink” file, the other downsides of burning ethanol in your car:
  • It takes plenty of corn (and water to grow that corn) to produce it.
  • It is not for collector cars older than 25 years old, because it can damage the rubber fuel lines.

It is not available at many gas stations. So, a five-mile drive to find the cheaper fuel will suck up all the money you are saving buying it.

Remember, if you have to drive several miles out of your way to find any form of cheaper gas, it is probably not worth it.