Sunday, May 1, 2011

I see the government's got it's head up it's arse as usual

WTF is this?  E10 a whole cent and a half cheaper than RON91 ULP?  Yeah, that will sell.

I ran my Honda on E10 for three months exclusively as and experiment and found that fuel economy went to shit, down by approximately 5%.  That was when ULP was generally around $1.30/L with E10 4c cheaper.
Given the 3% saving versus the 5% additional fuel cost, I abandoned the experiment as being not worth it and forgot about it.  The car ran fine - no pinging, idled well, started the same as before, no noticeable loss of power, smoothness or anything else - just less cash in the kick at the end of the week.

Now I see this crap.  Helloooooo idiot fuel companies, I'm going to need an 8c/L discount just to break *even* on running E10, and that's before I start taking into account scaremongering and general lack of accountability from car manufacturers who refuse to definitely tell you whether their vehicle will take E10 long term or not without seal and hose damage.

I don't know what ethanol is worth on a commercial basis (my drinking variety runs about $6/L but I suspect I manufacture to somewhat higher standards - and flavours) but by my maths, to produce say a 10% discount in the overall pump price then the stuff needs to be basically free, because 10% of that ULP price is only 13.7c and that's not a lot of wiggle room.

Given it's not unreasonable for ethanol producers to expect to be paid for their product, and motorists aren't going to fund it out of *their* pocket voluntarily, I can only see two ways to make widepread use of E10 attractive enough to be viable:

(a) the government drops fuel tax on the ULP component of E10 enough to provide an incentive, or
(b) the government cranks up the fuel tax rate of ULP without at least 10% blended ethanol, then tells use we don't *have* to pay it, we've got a perfectly good alternative.

Yes, one that returns 5% worse fuel economy and voids the engine warranty.

Anyone want to bet which option the pricks choose?

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