Monday, May 30, 2016

E10 fuel sucks

I've known this for some time, but saw this video today which illustrates the problem very well with absolutely zero effort on my part, so win, right?!?

Basically, E10 fuel sucks.  Assuming your car runs OK on it and it doesn't rot out the seals and hoses in your fuel system, the power drop is such that it doesn't make economic sense to run it.

I ran my Honda on E10 for 6 months, which I think is a fair basis for comparison.  It started and idled fine, acceleration was fine, no burping or farting (from the car, driver as normal) or pinging.  I honestly didn't even notice any drop in power, which may have something to do with the fact that I'm driving a 1.6 litre 4-pot Hiroshima screamer in Melbourne traffic, not Le Mans.

What I did notice was that the fuel economy sucked, which is the result of placing the right hoof closer to the floorpan in order to produce the customarily desired rates of acceleration (i.e. a little faster than the flogged out cab driven by the punjab in the merging lane).

I saw a closer to 6% drop in fuel economy, which means that a 4c/litre discount is resulting in money out of my pocket.  4c out of, let's say, $1.20/litre pump price is only 3.3% discount, I'd need 6% of $1.20 or a round 8c/litre off just to crack even.

That then doesn't compensate for my having to fill the bloody thing up 10% more often.

The bottom line: ethanol fuel is currently a loser, and considering it actually costs about twice as much a litre to make fuel alcohol versus burning dead dinosaurs, it's going to remain that way until the government either subsidises it properly (yeah, right) or the pricks simply legislate that all fuel must contain ethanol, at which stage pricing will simply go up in line with costs and we'll all take it in the neck as usual.

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