E85 once again a better deal for Swedish "flexifuel" motorists
Once again it is now more economical for Swedish flexifuel vehicle (FFV) motorists to run on E85. This since the tax on the E85, which was imposed in December 2015, was entirely removed at the beginning of 2018. This means that 220 000 FFV owners can make a major climate effort by refuelling with E85 instead of gasoline and save money at the pump in doing so according to calculations from the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio).
Svebio has compared the price of the E85 with the price of gasoline on an energy equivalent basis right back to 2005 when E85 was introduced in Sweden on a larger scale. During the first ten years, it was generally more economical for a flexifuel vehicle (FFV) owner to fuel E85 compared to gasoline and E85 consumption was relatively high. But from 2015, it was no longer a better deal to run on the renewable fuel.
According to Svebio, one important reason was that the Parliament (Riksdag) imposed a SEK 1 per litre tax on E85 from December 2015. The tax on the ethanol fuel was subsequently lowered to SEK 0.25 per litre in August 2016, but it still worked out more expensive to drive using E85 compared to gasoline.
As of January 1, 2018, the tax on E85 has been removed, while the tax on gasoline has been increased. This means that at the moment, Swedish FFV motorists can save SEK 0.53 per litre when refuelling with E85 instead of gasoline at the pump.
If all flexifuel car owners refuel climate-smart with E85, we could reduce emissions from traffic by a few hundred thousand tonnes of CO2 per annum. This can happen already this year, and is also more economical for the drivers concerned. There is hardly any other climate measure that can provide as much climate benefit in the short term, commented Gustav Melin, CEO of Svebio.
About E85 price equivalent
Svebio has calculated the gasoline (95 octane) price equivalent of E85 based on energy content and taking into account the seasonal mixing ratio. E85 contains 85 percent ethanol April to October and 75 percent ethanol during November to March.
As ethanol has a lower energy content per litre than gasoline, this means a 30 percent increase in winter consumption and 35 percent increase in summer consumption, in terms of energy content per litre of fuel. It is this price that is compared, not the price of a litre gasoline compared to a litre E85 at the pump.