Fuels: how to save up to 1 euro per liter of gasoline thanks to Superethanol-E85?

Fuels: how to save up to 1 euro per liter of gasoline thanks to Superethanol-E85?

Superethanol-E85 is slowly but surely making its way into the fuel supply at service stations. At 0.87 euros per litre, it is the cheapest fuel. We explain how to do it.

Superethanol-E85 represented 4% of gasoline sales in France in 2021, with more than 460 million liters consumed, according to the Bioethanol Collective. This share rose to more than 6% last spring, according to the latest figures.

And there is no doubt that since then, with the disproportionate rise in the price of oil and its consequences for motorists, this quota has increased even more. We explain everything about this fuel, whose main characteristic is its cleanliness.

What is superethanol?

It is a fuel that contains between 65% and 85% bioethanol. The rest is unleaded gasoline. Its main advantage: it reduces net CO2 emissions by 50% on average and particulate emissions by 90% compared to fossil fuel.

Is it suitable for all vehicles?

No, only gasoline engine vehicles put into service after the year 2000 can run on Super Ethanol. To do this, it is enough to install a small electronic box at engine level which, thanks to a sensor inserted in the tank, will inform the on-board computer of the nature of the fuel present in the tank. It then allows the engine to inject the correct amount of fuel, depending on the proportion of ethanol present in the tank.

Is it all kinds of gasoline?

Once the box is installed, the vehicle can be driven with SP98, SP95, SP96-E10 or Super Ethanol-E85. And this, in any proportion. In fact, the fuels can be mixed. This prevents breakdowns if no nearby service station offers Superethanol.

What type of box to install?

Please note: to be “accepted”, the E85 box must have official approval. According to Ethanol Collective, “9 out of 10 cars may have a homologated E85 box installed by a homologated workshop.”

What boxes are available on the market?

Currently, there are four E85 cabinets available on the market. That of Biomotors, the company based in Vendargues, near Montpellier (which has 9 approved categories), that of FlexFuel Energy Development (7 approved categories), that of Borel (1 approved category) and that of eFlexFuel (2 approved categories) . The first two are the main players driving the E85 box market.

How much does the installation of a fence cost?

The price of an approved E85 conversion box ranges between 800 euros and 1,400 euros, installation included. “Prices vary according to vehicle categories and home manufacturers,” specifies one of the Bioethanol Collective. “It’s more expensive with new direct injection cars,” adds Denis Stanislas, spokesman for Biomotors. It is possible to obtain a quote from the box manufacturers or from an authorized workshop.

What savings can we expect?

The Bioethanol Collective, which brings together professionals from the sector and promotes this fuel, estimates a saving of 40% in the fuel budget. On a round trip Perpignan-Paris, for example, the savings would be 118 euros.

Are there installation aids?

Some French regions have established a financial aid system. This is the case, for example, of the neighboring region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (PACA), which undertakes to reimburse 50% of the cost of the installation with a ceiling of 250 euros. The Occitanie Region has not planned anything at this level.

Is superethanol available at all gas stations?

As of last May, there were just under 3,000 service stations across the country distributing E85. Still nationwide, 32% of motorway service stations offer it. Regarding the motorway network, Occitania is the best valued region in terms of supply with a proportion of 42% of motorway stations. Thanks to the “My E85 stations” application, it is possible to find the nearest Superethanol-E85 service station.

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