A study backed by automakers and oil companies has found that a new blend of gasoline and ethanol recently approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could damage some engines, adding new fuel to the debate over the E15 standard.
It found that the new formula, 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol, damaged two of the eight vehicles used as guinea pigs in the high-mileage test.
“(These) objective scientific tests have found disturbing evidence that increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline above the current 10 percent causes serious damage to car engines,” said American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President Charles Drevna in a statement. “These are cars EPA has approved to run on E15 and are representative of approximately 5 million vehicles in the nation’s existing fleet.”
But the Department of Energy, which conducted its own tests on the new standard, called the methodology “unreliable and incomplete.”
“(T)he Energy Department conducted its own rigorous … study, ” wrote Patrick Davis, vehicle technologies program manager, on a DOE blog following the study’s release Wednesday. “(It) showed no statistically significant loss of vehicle performance.”