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E85 is a clean burning automobile fuel that consists of 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline.

To use E85, drivers need a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) that has been designed to run on E85 or regular gasoline.  These cars include onboard diagnostics that “read” the fuel blend and adjust the car’s fuel injection and ignition timing to compensate for different fuel mixtures.

E85 Pump

FFVs are not optimized for E85, so drivers do see a 10% – 25% decrease in fuel economy.  However, E85 is also cheaper at the pump, so drivers do usually still save money by choosing the higher ethanol blend.

As an example of the difference E85 can make, consider that a typical vehicle operating on gasoline gets 20 miles per gallon.  If that same gallon of gasoline was extended with 85% ethanol, the vehicle would travel over 100 miles by the time the original gallon of gasoline was consumed.

E85 is becoming more and more available in Iowa, which now has around 70 stations.  The Iowa Legislature created an incentive programs that shares the cost of installing these pumps with the gas station.


Renewable Fuels




Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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