EPA grants E15 waiver for newer vehicles

  • 21-Oct-2010 04:33 EDT

The U.S. EPA has waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10% ethanol for newer cars and light trucks. The E15 waiver applies only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. A decision on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles will be made after EPA receives the results of additional U.S. Department of Energy testing, which is expected to be completed in November 2010. There will be no decision about model year 2000 and older vehicles, as well as any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or nonroad engines. The use of E15 has been proven safe for newer vehicles, but most testing has focused on vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Yet a recent study by Ricardo concludes that E15 has little to no impact on vehicles made between 1994 and 2000. Many groups oppose raising the ethanol level up to 15%, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which believes more research needs to be done to determine both the short- and long-term impact. The EPA is proposing E15 pump labeling requirements to help consumers understand if they should use E15 or not, but the Alliance fears that may not be enough. The waiver fits with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels into the marketplace to reach 36 billion gal (136 billion L) by 2022.

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