MYTH: Ethanol is not economically viable without government subsidies
Ethanol does attract a lower excise rate than Petrol. This is the same as other fuels such as LPG and LNG. The lower excise is a result of the lower energy content of these fuels and also to encourage the use of alternative fuels and reduce the country’s reliance on oil.
At times of high petrol prices most of this reduced excise is being passed through to the consumer through lower prices for ethanol blended fuels (E10) which are generally sold between 2-4cpl cheaper than petrol.
MYTH: Ethanol blended fuels cannot be used in my car
Most new cars that have been designed for unleaded petrol, have also been approved by their manufacturer to run on ethanol blended petrol. Car owners can check the compatibility of their cars to run on E10 as approved by the manufacturer at www.ethanolfacts.com.au
MYTH: Ethanol does not provide any health benefits
Ethanol is an oxygenate which helps petrol burn more efficiently and cleaner resulting in lower levels of particulate emissions from cars. Particulate emissions have been linked to health problems related to air pollution.
MYTH:My car will have less power if I use ethanol blended fuels
Most cars will actually produce more power using an ethanol blend. Ethanol has a much higher octane rating than petrol. At higher ethanol blends (E85) there is a significant increase in power. For example the SAAB bio power cars produce 124Kw of power using petrol and 147KW using E85 (85% ethanol, 15% Petrol).
The only 100 Octane fuels currently available in Australia are ethanol blended fuels.
Even though ethanol blends produce more power, depending on your car you may see a slight increase in fuel consumption (1-3%) however other factors such as driving style, tyre pressure and roof racks also have an impact.