WASHINGTON -- More than 93% of new vehicles are specifically approved by their manufacturer to use E15, marking an increase from the previous year.
Each year, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) analyzes warranty statements and owner’s manuals for the newest vehicle model year to see what percentage of manufacturers specifically approve the use of E15. In its most recent analysis, it found that a higher percentage of model-year 2019 vehicles are specifically approved by their manufacturer to use E15 than in the previous year. Manufacturers approved 89% of model-year 2018 vehicles to use the ethanol blend.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 in model-year 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles. Today, this represents more than 92% of registered cars and trucks, according to RFA.
In its model-year 2019 analysis, RFA found that Subaru for the first time had approved the use of E15 in many of its popular models, including the Ascent, Crosstrek and Impreza. Nissan extended its approval to using E15 for all of its model-year 2019 vehicles after only approving its use in some model-year 2018 vehicles.
Two major auto lines that still do not mention E15 as an approved fuel: Daimler Group’s Mercedes-Benz and Mazda. Combined, they account for about 2% of the vehicle market, according to RFA. BMW, Volvo and Mitsubishi are the only major automakers that have not yet approved E15 use.
The RFA’s annual analysis is in response to warnings from some that consumers may damage their vehicles’ engines and void their warranties if they use the ethanol blend if the manufacturer does not explicitly approve its use.
“As this analysis shows, virtually all new vehicles are clearly approved by the manufacturer to use E15, a cleaner and cheaper fuel blend that is available today at more than 1,400 stations in 29 states,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of RFA, Washington, D.C. “While ethanol opponents continue to spread false and misleading information about E15, American drivers deserve to know the truth—nine out of 10 vehicles on the road today are legally approved by EPA to use E15, and 28 of the 32 vehicle lines reviewed in this analysis carry the manufacturer’s approval of E15.”
Photograph courtesy of Subaru