A rapid spike in gas prices can take a big hit on wallets. But Nebraskans who use ethanol or own a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) have options at the pump to save money and farmers have the option to use biodiesel.
Flex fuel vehicles are able to operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline up to E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Flex fuel vehicle owners can fill up with any blend in any amount at any time. Since ethanol is priced lower than gasoline, the higher the ethanol blend, the lower the price.
As gas prices rise, the cost of E85 has become even more attractive. “When you are filling up your flex fuel vehicle, look at the price of E10, E30, E85 and other ethanol blends to save money. Even with some reduction of mileage with the use of E85, it may still be economical for flex fuel vehicles to use E85 and other ethanol blends, " said Don Hutchens, executive director for the Nebraska Corn Board. “Instead of looking at your miles per gallon, calculate your cost per mile.”
One in ten Nebraskans drives a flex fuel vehicle or FFV-that’s over 150,000. "There are enough flex fuel vehicles in Nebraska to nearly fill Memorial Stadium twice! Many drivers don't realize they have an FFV since they don't look any different or cost any more than a standard vehicle," Hutchens said. "All you need to do is check your owner's manual or see if you have a flex fuel badge somewhere on the exterior of the vehicle." Some FFV's also 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 ethanol blended fuel.
E85 pumps and flex fuel pumps offering E10, E20, E30, E85 and other options can be found across Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, York, Fremont, Grand Island, North Platte, Ogallala and other communities. Locations can be found at e85prices.com or by downloading a flex fuel location app on a smartphone.
Ethanol isn’t the only renewable fuel helping consumers. Biodiesel was named America’ first advanced biofuel and has continually exceeded the production benchmarks set forth by the EPA. Over half of the farmers in Nebraska use biodiesel on their farms. Additionally, co-products from biodiesel production add value to livestock in Nebraska-as much as $13 per head of cattle and $3 per head of hog.
There are a number of economic, environmental and energy security benefits when choosing ethanol and biodiesel blended fuels.