When you read fuel prices on gas station panels, you can’t help but notice that one of them shows a much more attractive price. In fact, bioethanol is half the price of diesel and gasoline. Where does this attractive price come from and what are the other benefits of this fuel? Objeko answers all your questions in this article.
Bioethanol, a low cost fuel
Bioethanol, or superethanol, costs about 0.85 euros per liter. For those who regularly go to the service station, it is natural, therefore, to consider the use of this more affordable and less polluting fuel. But you should know that of the 11,000 stations in France, only 2,740 sell it. Total and Intermarché are the two largest sellers of E85 bioethanol. This, therefore, represents only a quarter of French service stations. However, the risk of breakdown is zero as the engines of bioethanol-powered vehicles run perfectly on unleaded petrol.
But why is bioethanol so low? As you can imagine, taxation has something to do with it. It turns out that it is reduced because fuel comes from renewable resources while gasoline and diesel are fossil fuels, much more polluting.
Fuel from renewable resources
Bioethanol production currently exploits sugar plants, such as sugar cane and beets. But it can also base its manufacture on the use of cereals. Wheat and corn are fermented and distilled into raw alcohol. The cereals are then dehydrated to convert them to pure ethanol. The latter will burn in the engine like gasoline.
In the factories that make pure alcohol for medical use, the same manufacturing process is used. This is also how alcoholic beverages with a high degree of alcohol are produced.
You should know that France is the European leader in agricultural alcohol production. This is mainly done in the north of the country. This production represents 1% of the agricultural land and the sector employs more than 9,000 people. Today, a second generation of bioethanol is emerging. Exploits the harvest of grapes recovered after pressing. This manufacturing process seems more cost effective. However, it is not a production from organic farming. Therefore, the first three letters of the term bioethanol should be deleted.
Change to bioethanol: several possible alternatives
However, this fuel is very advantageous from an ecological point of view. It is for this reason that its taxation is much more attractive than that applied to diesel or gasoline. In some regions, the gray card for vehicles running on bioethanol is free. In addition, for the calculation of the ecological penalty based on CO2 emissions, these eco-responsible cars benefit from a 40% reduction. Compared to fossil fuels, bioethanol reduces greenhouse gases by 71% and emits half of CO2 according to some studies. As for particulate emissions, their amount would be reduced by 90%.
Undeniably, bioethanol has many benefits. Unfortunately, it cannot power gasoline or diesel engines. Therefore, you will have to change cars to reduce your fuel costs and preserve the planet. You can also convert your car using a motor drive. But you have to be prepared to spend 1,000 euros. In terms of damping, this solution becomes interesting from the 20,000 km traveled. If you think about it, keep in mind that bioethanol-powered cars consume more fuel.
Are you planning to buy a car originally equipped to run on this fuel from natural resources? Two manufacturers offer them: Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. The latter sells a hybrid car and Flexifuel. In other words, it runs on electricity, gasoline and bioethanol. This is a unique formula on the market!
One last tip: before changing the engine or replacing the car, make sure you have a bioethanol supply nearby. Otherwise, you will not get your investment back.