SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 49, December 6, 2012

AAA Announces Opposition to E15 Gasoline

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is opposing the sale of gasoline with 15% ethanol content (E15). A recent survey found that 95% of AAA members were not aware of E15 or that the fuel could damage their vehicles and void their warranties. With only 5% of vehicles currently approved by automakers to use the fuel, AAA has called for a suspension of E15 sales until motorists are better protected. AAA joins a growing list of opponents that includes SEMA and many other trade associations and businesses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the sale of E15 for use in ’01 and newer vehicles. The EPA also made it illegal to fuel pre-’01 vehicles with E15. SEMA opposes E15 based on scientific evidence that it causes corrosion with incompatible parts. Ethanol increases water formation which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics, and rubber. E15 can also burn hotter than E10 gasoline and cause damage to certain high-performance specialty parts.

SEMA continues to support federal legislation that would prevent E15 sales until the National Academies has issued a study on how the fuel impacts gas-powered vehicles. To date, only a handful of stations are selling E15. For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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