Why Is E85 So Hard To Find

Have you ever tried to fill up your car with E85 fuel, only to find that it’s nearly impossible to find? You’re not alone. Many drivers who are interested in using this eco-friendly fuel alternative are frustrated with its limited availability.

But why is E85 so hard to find?

First, it’s important to understand what E85 fuel is and its benefits. E85 is a fuel blend that’s made up of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It’s considered a renewable fuel source because ethanol is made from corn, sugarcane, or other plant materials. E85 is touted as a more eco-friendly option because it produces less greenhouse gas emissions and reduces dependence on foreign oil. Plus, it typically costs less than traditional gasoline.

So, with all these benefits, why is E85 so hard to come by?

Explanation of What E85 Fuel Is and Its Benefits

You might be wondering what E85 fuel is and why it’s beneficial for your vehicle’s performance. E85 is a type of fuel that is made up of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It is considered a renewable source of energy because it is primarily made from corn, sugarcane, and other plants. This is different from traditional gasoline, which is made from non-renewable sources like oil.

One of the biggest benefits of E85 fuel is its compatibility with certain vehicles. Flex-fuel vehicles, or vehicles that have been designed to run on both gasoline and ethanol, can use E85 fuel. When used in these vehicles, E85 can provide a number of benefits, including improved performance and better fuel economy.

However, it’s important to note that not all vehicles are compatible with E85 fuel, so it’s important to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if it can be used.

The Complex Factors Contributing to Its Limited Availability

Unfortunately, it’s tough to come across E85 due to a myriad of complex factors that limit its availability. One of the major reasons is the supply chain.

E85 is primarily made from corn, which is mostly grown in the Midwest. Hence, it’s challenging to transport it to other parts of the country where the demand for E85 is high. Moreover, it’s not easy to store E85 as it’s highly corrosive and volatile. Hence, it requires specialized storage facilities, which are scarce.

All these factors contribute to the limited supply of E85. Another critical factor that limits the availability of E85 is consumer demand. Despite its numerous benefits, many people are still unaware of E85’s existence. Hence, there’s a lack of demand for it, which discourages fuel suppliers from investing in it.

Furthermore, most vehicles are not designed to run on E85, which makes it less appealing to consumers. It’s a chicken and egg situation where the lack of demand leads to a lack of supply, and the lack of supply leads to a lack of demand.

To break this cycle, we need to raise awareness about E85 and encourage manufacturers to produce more flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on E85.

Government Policies and Regulations Surrounding E85 Fuel

You’ll be interested to know that there are government policies and regulations that have a significant impact on the availability of E85 fuel.

Federal and state incentives play a crucial role in expanding the use of E85, and some states have even implemented their own policies to encourage its distribution.

Additionally, the EPA has set specific fuel standards for E85 to ensure its quality and safety.

Understanding these policies can shed light on why E85 fuel is not as widely available as traditional gasoline.

Federal and State Incentives for E85 Expansion

If you’re driving through the countryside, chances are you’ll come across corn fields as far as the eye can see – and yet finding a gas station that sells E85 can be a challenge, despite federal and state incentives aimed at expanding its availability.

One of these incentives is tax incentives, which allow businesses to receive a tax credit for each gallon of E85 they produce or sell. Additionally, renewable fuel standards require a certain percentage of renewable fuel, like E85, to be blended into gasoline sold at the pump.

Despite these incentives, the expansion of E85 availability is hindered by several factors. For one, it requires a significant investment for gas station owners to install new pumps and storage tanks for E85. Additionally, there is a lack of consumer demand for the fuel, as many drivers may not be aware of its benefits or may not have a compatible Flex Fuel vehicle.

However, with the continued push for renewable energy and the potential for decreased dependence on foreign oil, it’s important to consider the benefits of E85 and find ways to increase its availability.

EPA Fuel Standards for E85

To fully understand the benefits of E85, it’s important for gas station owners and consumers to be aware of the EPA fuel standards for this renewable fuel.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the fuel properties of E85, which must contain between 51% and 83% ethanol, with the remainder being gasoline. The agency also sets standards for the volatility, or the tendency of the fuel to evaporate, which affects its emissions and performance.

However, the EPA has granted exemptions to certain fuel additives, such as MTBE and ethanol, which can reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. In addition, industry lobbying has led to the relaxation of some fuel standards, which could impact the quality and availability of E85.

Therefore, it’s important for consumers and gas station owners to stay informed about changes in EPA fuel standards and any potential exemptions or industry influence.

Efforts to Increase Availability of E85 Fuel

There’s been an increase in efforts to make E85 fuel more widely available, but it’s still not easy to find at most gas stations. Innovative solutions have been proposed to increase the production and distribution of E85, such as building new ethanol plants and expanding existing ones.

Additionally, industry partnerships have been formed to facilitate the creation of a reliable infrastructure for E85 fuel. One example of an industry partnership is the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) “Flex Fuel Forward” campaign, which aims to increase the number of gas stations offering E85.

The campaign provides resources and support to gas station owners who are interested in offering the fuel, including assistance with equipment installation and marketing. These efforts are slowly but surely making E85 more accessible to drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and support the domestic ethanol industry.


In conclusion, finding E85 fuel can be a challenge due to a complex set of factors. While this biofuel offers benefits such as reduced emissions and increased performance, its limited availability can make it difficult to access.

Government policies and regulations surrounding E85 fuel also play a significant role in its distribution. However, efforts are being made to increase the availability of E85 fuel, including the expansion of E85 fueling stations and advocacy for government incentives.

As the demand for renewable fuels continues to grow, it’s important to address the obstacles that prevent the widespread use of E85. By understanding the factors contributing to its limited availability, we can work towards creating a more sustainable and accessible fuel market.

With continued efforts, E85 may become a more common choice for drivers seeking a cleaner and more efficient alternative to traditional gasoline.