should we crack for this fuel at € 0.70 / l? (video poll)

The E85, you know? It is this fuel that combines 65-85% of ethanol of agricultural origin with that of lead-free. Thanks to a very low taxation, it shows the rates at the distributor less than half of those of the SP95. And since the government has approved some enclosures that allow recent engines to run smoothly with superethanol, the phenomenon is growing rapidly. Sales volumes increased 55% last year to around 183 million liters.

There are currently around 1200 distribution points in France, almost 300 more than at the beginning of 2018! "With the approvals of the E85 conversion boxes obtained in 2018, the Superéthanol-E85 was able to take off and establish itself in the daily life of the French"comments Sylvain Desmoures, Secretary General of the National Union of Agricultural Producers of Alcohol (SNPAA).

Express profitability

In fact, at the end of 2018, the E85 represented 2.3% of the total distributed species, 1% more than a year earlier. We will not talk about tsunamis, but a fundamental movement has undoubtedly been created. It is based on several pillars:

Unbeatable rates With a price of around 70 cents per liter, the E85 costs twice less than the SP95 at the pump. Although ethanol induces a higher consumption of "pure" lead-free due to a lower calorific value, the investment necessary to install an electronic conversion unit is quickly profitable. This accommodation will be charged between € 600 and € 1300 depending on the complexity and engine displacement. For a 4-cylinder indirect fuel injection that consumes 8 l / 100 km and travels 15 000 km / year, the initial investment is profitable from the first year of use.

Proven reliability. The engines in circulation since 2001, ie compliant with the Euro 3 standard, are already designed to power the SP95 E10, which already incorporates 10% ethanol. The increase in this speed is in no way detrimental to the powertrain, provided to install an electronic box ad hoc. This controls the flow of E85 which, due to a lower calorific value, must actually be injected into larger quantities in the engine (hence the slight excessive consumption mentioned above).

Be cold

For a super-ethanol engine with an approved housing, the only difficulty may be starting in very cold weather conditions. " Two keys may be needed instead of one "Quench a professional. If a combustion problem occurs, a warning light may come on the dashboard." In the event of engine damage, the use of E85 could motivate the manufacturer's refusal of support "Warns Guillaume Darding, an automotive engineer whose website is a mine of clear and precise technical information on all topics. However, companies that sell approved E85 cases have an insurance that covers the consequences of any failures caused by their cases.

Three companies now offer approved conversion boxes, with prices from € 600 to € 1300. Orders for these cases are rapidly filling up: " from the beginning of the year we install thousands each month "Says Caradisiac Sebastien Le Pollès, president of FlexFuel Company.

An easy fuel to live. As mentioned above, the E85 distribution network is growing rapidly, with almost 1,200 stations to date and an average of 11 new openings per month. Smartphone applications simplify their localization, for example "My stations E85" or "Stations E85". And if, according to your movements, it is not possible to find a superethanol pump, no problem since the machines work indifferently with the classic SP95 or SP98. No mistake to be feared, then.

The ethanol is produced from beets or cereals.

A "green paint". Let me be clear, the ecological argument is often of very minor importance for E85 users. For all this, and without falling into a greenwashing pleased, it is green and renewable energy, which sounds pleasantly in the ear.

10 million cars affected

The French bioethanol sector covers 50 000 farmers and covers an area of ​​300 000 hectares, equal to 1% of the agricultural area. Should this fuel develop, care should be taken to respect the balance between food-based agriculture and "automotive" agriculture.

The problem is however very far from being posed, even if the professionals estimate to 10 million the number of petrol vehicles produced after 2001 that in France could feed the E85.

In terms of E85, the supply of car manufacturers is very low. Only Ford is present in the niche, with a Kuga Flexifuel whose first copies will arrive in the showrooms in June 2019, at prices ranging between € 29,100 and € 34,250. A way for the builder to occupy the field and sell petrol-powered SUVs that would otherwise be more difficult to sell.

Convinced (e)? The contact remains with a company that produces and installs approved wrappers (Official Journal of 15 December 2017). To date, three of them are listed: in addition to FlexFuel Company, they include BioMotors and ARM Engineering.

These companies or their partner workshops (usually freelancers, recently associated with the Speedy, Norauto or Point S networks) must be used to manage the transplant. An operation that lasts from one to three hours and after which it is necessary to return its registration card to the prefecture so that it returns decorated with the mention FE (Superéthanol-essence) in box P3, which will replace the mention ES ( petrol). Finally, note that during the resale of the vehicle, registration will be free or at half price depending on the region.

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