E-15 Adoption May Be Delayed

Nov 21, 2013 View Comments by

E-15 Adoption May Be DelayedIn what’s sure to be welcome news for most motorcyclists, the large-scale introduction of E15, a blend of 15-percent ethanol to 85-percent gasoline, could be delayed, at least for a while. According to the AMA, the EPA may reduce the required quantity of ethanol sold in the U.S. in 2014. The effect of this reduction may be that E15 introduction slows. E10, which represents the lion’s share of fuel sold across the country, has been a point of contention between motorcyclists and the EPA. Ethanol burns hotter than normal gasoline, which can be hard on air-cooled engines. It also absorbs water, which can lead to further engine problems. Currently, E15 is legal for sale and use in 2001 model year and newer cars and trucks. It is not legal as fuel for motorcycles, boats, older vehicles, or other gasoline powered equipment. In order to prevent motorcyclists or others from unknowingly putting E15 in their tanks, the EPA has mandated warning labels (pictured above) on all pumps dispensing the alcohol rich blend (this is known as their Misfueling Mitigation Plan or MMP).

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and further expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requires that a certain quantity of fuel sold in the U.S. be renewable. The EPA’s stated goal is to have 36 billion gallons of renewables (presumably mostly ethanol) mixed into the fuel supply by 2022. However, according to the AMA, Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s Administrator, has proposed a reduction in the amount of renewable fuels mixed into the supply from 18.15 billion gallons to 15.21 billion gallons for 2014. This should effectively slow the proliferation of E15 through 2014. Wayne Allard, Vice President of the AMA, states that, “the bottom line is that this decision certainly slows the unnecessary rush on bringing E15 fuels to market for at least the next year, but it doesn’t address the central issue that real-world motorcyclists face, and that is that no motorcycle currently on the road is approved for E15 use, and the risk of inadvertent misfueling is tremendous once it is available at the pump.”

For more info on E15 check out www.epa.gov and www.americanmotorcyclist.com


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