Everything is rolling for E-85 Superethanol.
Biofuel, which contains 60 to 85% bioethanol from the fermentation of beets or cereals, saw its consumption increase in France in 2020, despite the drop in automobile traffic linked to confinements.
This gasoline, the cheapest of all fuels, saw its consumed volumes grow by 4%, to more than 350 million liters, while other road fuels fell by 15%, according to the Collective du bioéthanol (Association de la beet et et sugar and the Union of agricultural alcohol producers).
Read also: Is it profitable to run on superethanol?
The price of E85 continues to appeal to motorists.
Less taxed because it emits less CO2 than fossil fuels, the latter is worth 0.66 cents per liter at the pump on average.
Half the price of the SP95-E10, "
it saves more than 500 euros per year for 13,000 km traveled, compared to other gasolines
", assures the Collective.
The gap is widening with other conventional fuels whose prices started to rise again at the end of last year.
A wider offer
Superethanol E-85, however, still forms a very small part of gasolines, themselves in the minority compared to diesel which still represents three quarters of the total consumption of the French.
This gasoline can only be used by so
, or by gasoline cars fitted with an approved conversion device.
Another obstacle: the still limited number of service stations that distribute it.
On this last point, things are changing quickly, assures the Collective.
Compared to the end of 2019, 32% more stations distribute Superethanol-E85, i.e. 565 more stations over one year.
At the start of January 2021, 2,305 service stations were offering it, ie 1 in 4 stations.
“The regions of Occitanie (26%), Hauts-de-France (22%) and Provence-Alpes Côtes d'Azur (21%) have the most high rate of equipment in E85 stations.
Two distributors, Total and Intermarché, represent 50% of E85 stations ”
, specifies professionals in the sector.
Request for approval
Side boxes, the situation also changes.
More than 15,000 approved E85 conversion boxes were installed in France in 2020. More than half of them are boxes installed by Flexfuel Energy Development.
“In times of health crisis, the French prefer the car to get around because it is one of the only means of confined mobility.
Motorists are also looking for more environmentally friendly mobility that preserves their purchasing power.
The FlexFuel units meet these expectations ”,
declared Sébastien Le Pollès, president of the company
in a press release.
To read also: Biofuel: the success of “E85” cannot be denied
The sector is asking the public authorities to extend access to conversion units to vehicles of 15 HP and more and to those equipped with particulate filters.
According to her, this request is "
in the process of being accepted
" and would make approximately nine vehicles out of the 10 gasoline fleet eligible. The supply of original Flex-E85 vehicles has also widened.
After the Kuga FlexiFuel E85 SUV in 2019, the manufacturer Ford announces a range of 6 new models.
Jaguar-Land Rover also invested in Superethanol-E85 in the second half of 2020, with the Discovery Sport Flex Fuel Hybrid, the Range Rover Evoque Flex Fuel Hybrid, and the Jaguar E-PACE Hybrid Flex Fuel.