Despite Lower MPG, E85 May Still Offer More Bang for Your Buck


If you own acar, chances are fuel costs take a big hit on your wallet. Nebraskans who own aflex fuel vehicle (FFV) have options at the pump that can save some money andeven farmers have the option to use cheaper biodiesel.

FFV's areable to operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline up to E85, a blend of85-percent ethanol and 15-percent ordinary gasoline. This means FFV owners canfill up with any blend in any amount at any time without worry of mixing fuelsor using an incompatible blend. Since ethanol is priced lower than gasoline,higher the ethanol blends carry a lower price.

As gasprices rise, the cost of E85 has become even more attractive to FFV ownersdespite the lower MPG rates.

"When youare filling up your flex fuel vehicle, look at the price of E10, E30, E85 andother ethanol blends to save money. Even with the reduced mileage of E85,it may still be economical for flex fuel vehicles to use E85 and other ethanolblends," said Don Hutchens, executive director for the Nebraska CornBoard.

He recommendsthat drivers calculate your cost per mile rather than just looking at asreduced miles per gallon as the cost can often offset the lower MPG rates.

One in tenNebraskans drives a flex fuel vehicle or FFV - that's over 150,000.

"Thereare enough flex fuel vehicles in Nebraska to fill Memorial Stadium twice! Many drivers don't realize they have an FFV since they don't look any differentor cost any more than a standard vehicle," Hutchens said. "Allyou need to do is check your owner's manual or see if you have a flex fuelbadge somewhere on the exterior of the vehicle."

Some FFV'salso have a yellow gas cap.

In 2011,ethanol saved American households over $1,200 and reduced gas prices by $1.09.As gas prices increase, FFV owners have even more reason to choose ethanolblended fuel.

E85 pumpsand flex fuel pumps offering E10, E20, E30 and E85 and other options can befound across Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, York, Fremont, Grand Island,North Platte, Ogallala and other communities.

Locationscan be found at or by downloading aflex fuel location app on a smartphone.

Ethanolisn't the only renewable fuel helping consumers.

Biodieselwas named America' first advanced biofuel and has continually exceeded theproduction benchmarks set forth by the EPA. Over half of the farmers in Nebraskause biodiesel on their farms. Additionally, co-products from biodieselproduction add value to livestock in Nebraska-as much as $13 per cow and $3 perhog.

There are anumber of economic, environmental and energy security benefits when choosingethanol and biodiesel blended fuels.