July 9, 2024

Study: Allowing E15 Fuel Blend Could Save California Drivers $2.7 Billion at the Pump Annually

Researchers from UC Berkeley and the U.S. Naval Academy found adopting E15 blend gasoline could save Californians 20 cents per gallon

A new study by economists at UC Berkeley and the U.S. Naval Academy found California drivers could expect to save 20 cents per gallon if the state allowed gas stations to sell E15 fuel – a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline approved in all 49 other states.

The potential savings for California consumers could reach $2.7 billion annually, according to the study authored by David Zilberman, PhD, a distinguished professor in the Agricultural and Resources Economics Department at UC Berkeley, and Scott Kaplan, PhD, assistant professor in the Economics Department at the United States Naval Academy.

“Consumers have the potential to gain significantly from the introduction and purchase of E15,” according to the study. “In particular, our estimates suggest an approximately 20 cents per gallon discount for E15 compared with E10 after adjusting for energy content.” The authors also highlighted the benefit of E15’s lower carbon emissions. “In California, price savings for lower GHG intensity fuels are larger, likely due to California-specific policies incentivizing low carbon fuels.”

California is the last remaining state to limit ethanol inclusion in gasoline to just 10 percent (E10), but state regulators are considering approval of E15 after extensive vehicle testing showed the fuel offers important emissions benefits. E15 is legally approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in all cars, pickups, SUVs and vans manufactured in the last 24 years.

E15, State News

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