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How Much Does it Cost to Use Ethanol?

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Workers Transferring Ethanol From Rail to Truck
Greg Pease/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Question: How Much Does it Cost to Use Ethanol?
Ethanol is a widely available alternative fuel that can be used in many vehicles that are already on the road, but is it cost-effective to use ethanol or an ethanol/gasoline blend in place of unblended gasoline?

Answer: A gallon of E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, usually costs about the same as a gallon of regular gasoline, although prices may vary somewhat depending on location.

Comparable cost per gallon, but less fuel economy
A gallon of ethanol contains less energy than a gallon of gasoline, however, so you may get lower mileage with ethanol and be required to fill your tank more often, which may could to your fuel costs.

For more current information about the cost of ethanol and other alternative fuels, download the most recent Alternative Fuel Price Report from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Vehicles that use ethanol cost no more than others
Vehicles that can use E85 are widely available in many models—sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickups and light trucks—and usually cost about the same as vehicles that run exclusively on gasoline. The U.S. Department of Energy provides an online Flexible Fuel Vehicle Cost Calculator that makes it easy to determine the costs and benefits of using E85 in a flexible fuel vehicle where you live.

Ethanol: Frequently Asked Questions

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