Sales of bioethanol (E85), a cocktail made from alcohol and gasoline, increased by 33% in 2021, the Bioethanol Collective, which represents the sector, said on Tuesday.
Twice as expensive as gasoline at the pump, at 0.75EUR per liter on average, but causing higher consumption, E85 is attracting more and more French people in the face of soaring fuel prices.
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30,000 motorists have installed a conversion box on their vehicle, i.e. twice as many as in 2020. 2,725 service stations now offer E85, i.e. 420 new stations in one year, and 30% of French service stations.
The year also marked a revival of this engine in dealerships: 2,424 new vehicles were sold already equipped at Ford and Jaguar-Land Rover.
Ford, at which this engine accounted for two-thirds of sales in the last quarter of 2021, plans to sell 80% of "
" on its equipped models in 2022. While Europe is converting to electric and hybrid, the promoters of E85, i.e. farmers, oil companies and builders, present it as a "
means of supporting the French in the transition
" and a lever of "
" for France.
These engines, which emit between 30 to 50% less greenhouse gases than when driving on petrol, allow individuals to avoid the ecological penalty, and professionals also benefit from a reduction in their taxes.
Produced from beets, wheat, corn, and sugar and starch residues, especially in the east and north of France, bioethanol occupies 0.6% of the useful agricultural area in France, according to the national union. agricultural alcohol producers.
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But its environmental record remains disputed.
The production of bioethanol reinforces the harmful effects of industrial agriculture on the soil, water and air (chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides such as neonicotinoids), warns, for example, the Inspire association in its "
eco-guide to the automobile
France is also the only European country, with Sweden, to defend ethanol, and "
the fiscal scaffolding
" which makes it attractive could collapse, according to Sylvain Angerand, of the environmental association Canopée, who published a report at the end of 2021 on the matter.