Another Reason To Drive Electric -- The Problem With Ethanol

Here’s another great reason to switch to driving an electric vehicle …

As of December 31, 2009, the State of Florida joined at least ten other states in mandating the sale and use of E-10 Ethanol-blended gasoline. E-10 is a mixture of 10% ethanol (alcohol) and 90% gasoline. Touted as a means of lowering harmful emissions and easing our dependence on foreign oil, all modern non-diesel cars are certified to run on this mixture – but not without a price.

The primary problems with E-10 occur because of alcohol’s solvent and water-absorbing qualities. It also has a short (2-3 month) shelf life, even under ideal conditions.

The Fuel-Testers website explains that because of its solvent properties, ethanol can dissolve plastic, rubber, certain types of fiberglass and even aluminum! It also can dissolve resins, dirt, rust and sediment accumulated in older motors and cause engine stalling, and clog fuel filters, carburetor jets and injectors. Because of alcohol’s drying properties, it can also dry out and/or crack non-alcohol resistant parts, such as carburetor floats, hoses, etc.

Ethanol will also absorb water and if you have ever had water in your gas, you now the damage it can do. Poor performance is only a small side effect – water does not compress like gasoline does and can damage pistons and rods. While this is most evident in marine applications, motorcycles, and lawn mowers, prolonged use of ethanol-blended fuels can cause serious damage to your cars, trucks and buses as well.

Ethanol also ignites at a higher temperature than conventional gasoline, causing piston damage, as they were not designed to endure these higher temperatures.