Should I Use e10 Fuel?
Jarrod asks: Should I use e10 in my car?
This is an answer directed at Australians - but the same basic principles apply globally. So: Australians have this perverse take on e10 - like it’s some kind of inferior fuel. Like it’s cat’s piss mixed with nuclear waste and not ethanol that’s going into the gasoline.
The exact opposite is in fact true.
Here's a video piece I did recently on e10 fuel for Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise (below)
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Ethanol is superior in many ways. For example: If you care about performance, e10 is a higher octane fuel than regular 91 - so your engine adapts up to it and you get more ignition advance, and therefore a little more torque at the crank. So that’s nice. In fact, if they blended it exactly 10 per cent with the right petrol, the octane rating would be 95, and e10 fuel would then be the cheapest premium unleaded 95 on Earth.
If you care about Australia’s energy security - and, trust me, you really should spend a little time pondering this instead of just downloading granny porn or something … because humanity as we know it stops without liquid fuel - then e10 fuel, which is renewable and locally manufactured, helps us to dilute our dependency on foreign oil. Australia imports more than 90 per cent of its liquid fuels from overseas - and the raw material is overwhelmingly sourced from geopolitically crackpot/unstable countries.
E10 fuel also keeps the wheels of agriculture turning - which means it keeps our farmers afloat. It's a great add-on for established agribusiness - and most of the food-versus-fuel debate is just meaningless, uninformed rhetoric.
This recent video segment on e10 fuel for Channel 7 News also spells it out (below)
About the only thing wrong with e10 fuel is the price: e10 has about three per cent less energy than regular unleaded - and that means it needs to be about three of four per cent cheaper than regular unleaded. Which it’s not.
Oil companies don’t really want to sell e10 fuel, and they’re doing it an economic disservice to pump up their own profits, and (long-term) squeeze it out of the mix. Which makes them arseholes. And there needs to be more competition among ethanol manufacturers - because then, market forces would ensure a competitive pricing system for ethanol.
One more thing: e10 doesn’t damage your fuel system or your engine. Cars built after the 1980s are pretty much all compatible with e10.