Do You Get Better MPG With E85?

As drivers strive to optimize fuel economy and reduce their carbon footprint, alternative fuel options have gained attention, with E85 emerging as a viable contender. While it’s lower cost per gallon may seem enticing, a critical question arises: do you actually get better miles per gallon with E85? Delving into the science behind it, the answer becomes nuanced. Despite it’s lower per-gallon price tag, the reduced energy content of ethanol leaves Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) achieving an estimated 15%-27% fewer miles per gallon when running on E85, ultimately dependent on various factors such as the vehicle itself and the driving style of the operator. Thus, the debate of whether E85 proves a financially savvy and eco-friendly choice intensifies, as a trade-off between cheaper fuel costs and reduced fuel efficiency materializes.

Is It Worth It to Run E85?

Additionally, E85 is a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional gasoline. It’s made up of 85% ethanol, which is derived from renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane. This means that when you run your vehicle on E85, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner environment.

Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which allows for a higher compression ratio in the engine. This can result in increased horsepower and torque, providing a more powerful and efficient driving experience.

Ethanol has natural cleaning properties that can help remove carbon deposits and other impurities from your fuel system, leading to improved performance and reduced maintenance costs in the long run.

However, it’s important to consider some drawbacks of running E8First and foremost, the availability of E85 fuel stations is relatively limited compared to regular gasoline stations. This means that depending on your location, you may have to go out of your way to find an E85 station, which can be inconvenient.

Additionally, not all vehicles are capable of running on E8It’s important to check your vehicles compatibility before considering the switch.

It’s important to weigh the financial savings of using cheaper fuel with the potential decrease in mileage and increased refueling frequency.

Potential Decrease in Fuel Efficiency: While E85 May Be Cheaper, It Typically Has Lower Energy Content Compared to Gasoline, Which Can Result in Decreased Mileage. This May Offset Some of the Cost Savings and Should Be Considered When Evaluating the Overall Financial Impact of Running E85.

E85, despite being cheaper, contains less energy than gasoline. As a result, it can lead to reduced mileage. This means that even though E85 may save money initially, the decrease in fuel efficiency should be taken into account when calculating the overall financial impact of using E85.

Transition: As the popularity of E85 fuel continues to rise, enthusiasts are eager to explore the potential horsepower gains it offers. Whether on a stock turbocharger or a larger setup, the increased power output on E85 can be significant. But with the advent of flex fuel options, the prospects of utilizing E85 are about to reach new heights.

How Much HP Will I Gain on E85?

E85, also known as flex fuel or ethanol blend, offers significant horsepower gains compared to gasoline. When running a stock turbocharger, it’s common to witness a notable increase of 40 to 50 peak horsepower on E8This higher octane fuel allows the engine to operate more efficiently, resulting in improved power output.

Furthermore, the future looks even brighter for E85 enthusiasts with the introduction of flex fuel options. With flex fuel vehicles, drivers can have the flexibility to run both gasoline and E85 seamlessly, optimizing performance based on availability and preference.

Ethanol contains less energy per gallon compared to gasoline, resulting in lower overall fuel efficiency. However, the increased power potential and the potential for lower fuel prices can offset this drawback for many performance enthusiasts.

The ability to extract an additional 40 to 50 horsepower from the engine isn’t uncommon, and larger turbo setups can achieve even greater gains, exceeding 100 horsepower.

The Potential Compatibility Issues of Running E85 in Older Vehicles

  • Engine performance may suffer.
  • Fuel economy may decrease.
  • Increased risk of engine damage.
  • Fuel system components may deteriorate.
  • Exhaust emissions may increase.
  • Incorrect fuel gauge readings.
  • Inadequate cold weather performance.
  • Difficulty starting the engine.
  • Potential warranty concerns.


In conclusion, it’s evident that the use of E85 as a fuel alternative has both advantages and disadvantages. This decrease in miles per gallon, varying between 15% to 27%, can have a significant impact on overall fuel efficiency and cost per mile. Therefore, individuals considering utilizing E85 should carefully evaluate their driving habits, vehicle type, and the potential trade-off between lower fuel cost and decreased mileage.

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