News & Ideas

ACE submits comments on how high octane ethanol is the solution to improved fuel economy, emissions standards

Sioux Falls, SD (October 26, 2018) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) set forth recommendations for removing regulatory barriers restricting market access to high octane midlevel ethanol blends in its comments submitted today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. Below are a few excerpts from ACE CEO Brian Jennings’ written comments:

“We are grateful EPA and NHTSA are seeking comment on how fuel such as 100 Research Octane Number (RON) E30 can help automakers meet CAFE-GHG standards. We are also encouraged EPA’s position on high octane fuel is evolving. While the correlation between octane and fuel economy has been disregarded in previous rulemakings, the SAFE rule correctly recognizes that ‘gasoline octane levels are an integral part of engine performance.’

“…high octane fuel in the 98-100 RON range comprised of 25 to 30 percent ethanol would benefit consumers and enable automakers to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy. Anything short of 98 RON E25 fails to maximize engine efficiency, GHG reductions, and consumer savings at the pump.

“Ethanol delivers the highest octane at the lowest cost, allowing automakers to benefit by continuing to develop high-compression engine technologies and other product offerings to achieve efficiency improvements and reduced emissions.”                                      

Below are recommendations ACE encourages EPA to take during its final rulemaking to enable high octane fuel to play a role in helping automakers meet the 2021-2026 standards:

  1. Establish a minimum octane standard for fuel in the range of 98-100 RON with 25-30 percent ethanol and provide automakers a corresponding certification fuel so they can test engines on high octane fuel.
  2. In setting the new minimum octane rating, phase out 85 Anti-Knock Index (AKI) fuel used in some Mountain states; no automaker recommends the use of the substandard low octane fuel in their engines.
  3. Restore CAFE-GHG compliance credits for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) and consider a new incentive for engines designed to achieve optimal efficiency on high octane fuel.
  4. Adopt the latest GREET model assessment of the lifecycle GHG emissions of corn ethanol.

ACE’s full comments can be accessed here.

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