American Motorcyclist March 2018

Push Is On For High-Ethanol Content E30

Ethanol Industry Targets More Markets

The ethanol industry is pushing federal regulators and lawmakers to approve the use of E30 fuel in non-flex fuel vehicles.

E30 contains 30 percent ethanol and 70 percent gasoline, by volume.

Most of the fuel sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol (E10). E15 fuel is approved for use in 2001 and newer passenger cars, but not in any motorcycles. Blends with higher ethanol content are restricted to flex-fuel vehicles—that is, vehicles specifically designed to operate on fuel with high-ethanol content.

The sale of E30 for use in non-flex-fuel vehicles would require a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Emily Skor, CEO of the ethanol group Growth Energy, said she wants cities like Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta to follow the lead of South Dakota and permit the widespread availability of E30 fuel.

The AMA opposes the spread of fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol because confusing labels and lackluster enforcement can lead to misfueling, which can cause engine damage and void warranties.

Studies show that most drivers and riders shop first for price. Because ethanol blends are usually cheaper at the pump, motorcyclists could inadvertently fill their bikes’ tanks with illegal fuel that could damage their engines and fuel systems and also void manufacturer warranties.