What Is E15 Or E85 Fuel

If you’re looking to take control of your fuel consumption, then you may have heard about E15 and E85 fuels. These alternative fuels have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for more sustainable and cost-effective ways to power their vehicles.

But what exactly are E15 and E85 fuels, and how do they differ from traditional gasoline? E15 fuel is a blend of gasoline and ethanol that contains up to 15% ethanol by volume. It is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in cars, light-duty trucks, and SUVs that were manufactured in 2001 or later.

On the other hand, E85 fuel is a blend of gasoline and ethanol that contains up to 85% ethanol by volume. It is typically used in flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs), which can run on gasoline, E85, or any combination of the two.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at E15 and E85 fuels, compare their benefits and drawbacks, and provide some tips for deciding whether they are right for you.

Understanding E15 Fuel

You’ll see E15 fuel at gas stations labeled as ‘Unleaded 88’ because it contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, making it a popular choice for drivers.

One of the advantages of using E15 fuel is that it burns cleaner than regular gasoline, reducing emissions and contributing to a cleaner environment. Plus, it’s also slightly cheaper than regular gasoline, making it a more affordable option for drivers.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using E15 fuel. For example, it’s not compatible with all vehicles, so it’s important to check if your car is E15 compatible before filling up.

Additionally, the production of E15 fuel can have a negative impact on the environment, as it requires the use of large amounts of energy and water.

Despite these drawbacks, E15 fuel has become a popular choice for drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money at the pump.

Understanding E85 Fuel

Understanding E85, a blend of ethanol and gasoline, can be a great option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. E85 contains anywhere from 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on the season and region. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that’s produced from crops such as corn, wheat, and sugar cane.

The production process involves breaking down complex sugars into simple sugars, which are then fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. One of the main advantages of using E85 fuel is that it’s a renewable resource that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline and produces fewer harmful emissions.

Using E85 can also help reduce dependence on foreign oil. However, there are also some disadvantages to using E85. For example, E85 has a lower energy density than gasoline, meaning that it may result in lower fuel economy. Additionally, not all vehicles are designed to run on E85, so it’s important to check with your vehicle manufacturer before using this fuel.

Comparing E15 and E85 Fuels

Let’s compare the differences between E15 and E85 blends of ethanol and gasoline. E15 contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, while E85 contains 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

These blends have significant differences in terms of their environmental impact and performance.

When it comes to environmental impact, E85 is the clear winner. It emits fewer greenhouse gases than E15 and has a lower carbon footprint. Additionally, E85 is made from renewable materials, whereas E15 is not.

However, E85 is not as widely available as E15 and may not be compatible with all vehicles. On the other hand, E15 has a greater availability and compatibility, but its environmental impact is not as significant as E85.

As for performance differences, E85 has a higher octane rating than E15, which means it can potentially improve engine performance and efficiency. However, E85 also has lower energy content than E15, which means it may not provide the same level of fuel efficiency as E15.

Therefore, the choice between E15 and E85 ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.

Factors to Consider Before Switching to E15 or E85

Before switching to E15 or E85, there are several factors you need to consider.

First, you need to check if your vehicle is compatible with these fuels as not all vehicles can handle them.

Second, you need to check the availability of these fuels in your area as they may not be widely available.

Lastly, you need to weigh the cost of using E15 or E85 against traditional gasoline as they may be more expensive.

Vehicle Compatibility

Although some vehicles are compatible with e15 or e85 fuel, it’s important to check your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to see if your vehicle is one of them. Using the wrong fuel can result in decreased fuel efficiency and engine performance, and in some cases, even damage to your engine.

This is because e15 and e85 fuels have different properties than traditional gasoline, and not all vehicles are equipped to handle these differences. When examining your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website, pay close attention to the recommended fuel types for your vehicle.

It’s important to note that even if your vehicle is compatible with e15 or e85, it may still require a certain blend or percentage. Using the incorrect blend can also result in decreased performance and damage to your engine. Therefore, it’s crucial to do your research and ensure that you’re using the correct fuel for your vehicle to maintain optimal performance and avoid any potential damage.


Availability of ethanol blends varies by region and depends on factors such as local regulations, market demand, and infrastructure. E15 and E85 fuels aren’t yet widely available across the United States, but their availability has been increasing in recent years.

Some states, such as Minnesota, have mandated that certain gas stations offer E15 or E85 fuels. Additionally, some gas stations in other states have begun to offer these fuel blends in response to customer demand and the potential for increased profits.

Pricing for ethanol blends can vary from region to region, but in general, they tend to be slightly cheaper than traditional gasoline. However, it’s important to consider the environmental impact when choosing between ethanol blends and traditional gasoline.

Ethanol is a renewable resource made from plant materials, while gasoline is a non-renewable resource that contributes to air pollution and climate change. By choosing to use E15 or E85 fuels, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help to support a more sustainable future.


You’ll be pleased to know that using ethanol blends can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional gasoline. E15 and E85 fuels are generally cheaper than regular gasoline.

The production of ethanol is cheaper than extracting and refining crude oil, which makes ethanol-blended fuels more affordable. Additionally, ethanol blends can boost engine efficiency, meaning you can travel farther on a gallon of fuel, thus reducing your overall fuel costs.

The cost savings don’t stop there. Ethanol is a renewable resource, which means it can be produced again and again, making it a sustainable fuel option. Furthermore, ethanol production supports local farmers and rural economies.

So not only are you saving money, but you’re also supporting a more sustainable and ethical fuel industry. If you’re looking to reduce your fuel costs and take a step towards a greener future, ethanol blends like E15 and E85 are a smart choice.


Now that you’ve got a better understanding of E15 and E85 fuels, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if switching to one of these fuels is right for you. Both E15 and E85 are worth considering if you’re looking for a cleaner and more sustainable fuel option. However, it’s crucial to note that not all vehicles are compatible with these fuels. So, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult with a mechanic before making the switch.

Another factor to consider is the availability of E15 and E85 fuels in your area. While some gas stations may offer these fuel options, they may not be readily available in all regions. Additionally, the cost of these fuels may be higher than traditional gasoline in some areas, which can impact your overall fuel costs.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the potential benefits of E15 or E85 outweigh the potential drawbacks. By doing your research and consulting with experts, you can make an informed decision and potentially reduce your environmental impact while saving money on fuel costs.