Did you know that France is one of the most advanced countries in the use of ethanol? it’s the truth ! Thanks to lower taxes on this fuel, more and more people are turning to ethanol to save money at the pump.
Fuel prices continue to rise
Since the war in Ukraine, but also since the yellow vest crisis in 2019, the price of fuel in France has been a major topic of tension with hyperinflation. In addition, the French are among the Europeans who consume the most gasoline.
The rise in gasoline and diesel prices in particular is explained by two main factors:
- Crude oil prices rise in global markets
- Taxes levied on these products in France, are among the highest in Europe.
Against the backdrop of the government’s hunt for fossil fuels, more and more consumers are lost and don’t know what to do to be able to drive calmly.
In order to combat this price increase, the French are turning more and more to money-saving alternatives, such as LPG or E85.
E85, cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel
E85 is a biofuel consisting of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It can be used on all Flex-Fuel vehicles without any modification. Ethanol sold in France is generally produced from sugar beets or wheat.
E85 has many advantages:
- It is cheaper than gasoline: at the moment, E85 is 60% cheaper than gasoline.
- It’s less polluting: in fact, ethanol emits 20% less carbon dioxide than gasoline.
- It’s more environmental: by using this renewable fuel, you contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Where do you find Bio-ethanol e85?
You’ll find E85 bio-ethanol plants everywhere in France, especially on highways and big cities. Since 2021 and a strong development of e85 pumps, it is offered by 2305 service stations in France, that is, 1 out of 4; The trend is to add new stations regularly.
E85 is not yet popular in France, but it’s an interesting fuel to know about and can save you money at the pump!
What models running on e85 to choose?
Few manufacturers in France offer the e85 range, with the notable exception of the American manufacturer Ford, which is a real mainstay in our territory. From the Ford Fiesta Flexifuel to the Ford Kuga Flexifuel, via Transit Connect FlexiFuel for professionals, the vast majority of the manufacturer’s range is interested, with prices starting at less than 20,000 euros.
Other, more upscale manufacturers like Land Rover & Jaguar also have a model or two in their range, but the prices are on another level entirely.
You will find a summary of the available models in our article dedicated to e85. We regret the stark absence of French manufacturers who are very shy on the subject, with the notable exception of the Dacia, which is instead based on dual-fuel LPG like the Dacia Sandero Stepway ECO-G 100 that we tested last year.
Another advantage of choosing the e85 model is its ability to also run on conventional gasoline, SP95, SP95-E10 or SP98, without modification; The opposite is not true for conventional gasoline engines. This is called the “Flex Fuel” system, which allows you to fill up with the fuel of your choice without damaging your engine.
This flexibility is a very big advantage, as it avoids being blocked when there is no E85 in your area, or during a road trip abroad.
Can you convert your gasoline car to e85?
The answer is yes, but everything will depend on the model, its age and power, but also on the manufacturer. If you already own a car that you’d rather keep, this is by far the most economical solution, while still being legal and the same. To do this, your car must have a transfer box and then the engine reprogrammed by a professional.
The intervention is not very expensive, since it is possible to find a kit for less than 1000 euros, but unfortunately not all cars can always be converted. In fact, some manufacturers (especially BMW) void your warranty once your vehicle is modified. Other brands are known to have engines sensitive to internal wear (such as Peugeot and their Puretech engines) and are therefore not recommended for converting to an e85.
The main advantage of this solution is that you can use E85 fuel whenever you want, without having to switch to bi-fuel or flex-fuel models. This will allow you to take advantage of lower fuel prices as soon as they appear in your area, without having to buy a new car.
However, keep in mind that this intervention is not always possible and may have consequences for your vehicle’s warranty. We therefore advise you to inquire in advance with a professional and with the manufacturer about the warranty.