U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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EPA Grants E15 Fuel Waiver for Newer Vehicles

October 20, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waived on October 13 a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10% ethanol, allowing up to 15% ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. This is the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state, and industry to allow commercialization of so-called E15 gasoline blends. The EPA made the decision after a review of DOE's testing on E15's impact on engine durability and emissions. A ruling on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles will be made after EPA receives the results of additional DOE testing, which is expected to be completed in November. However, no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars , or in light trucks—or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines—because currently there is no testing data to support such a waiver. Since 1979, up to 10% ethanol or E10 has been used for all conventional cars and light trucks, and for non-road vehicles.

Additionally, several steps are being taken to help consumers easily identify the correct fuel for their vehicles and equipment. First, EPA is proposing E15 pump labeling requirements, including a requirement that the fuel industry specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. There would also be a quarterly survey of retail stations to help ensure their gas pumps are properly labeled. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels in the marketplace, reaching a 36 billion gallons total in 2022. Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel because it is produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels. Ethanol is blended with gasoline for use in most areas across the country. See the EPA release and the EPA E15 Web site.

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Content Last Updated: 01/25/2010