I am in favor of alternative fuels, but I am against ethanol, especially ethanol from corn. Here is why.
Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The weighted average fuel economy of all cars sold by each manufacturer must be at least a certain minimum each year. Similar for light trucks, but at a lower standard.
Manufacturers pay penalties for not meeting CAFE.
It turns out that if a car can burn ethanol (E85), then its contribution to the manufacturer’s CAFE is bumped up. First, the CAFE formula assumes that a car is fueled 1/2 the time with gas, 1/2 with E85. Secondly, even though the fuel economy is lower with E85 (less energy in each gallon), the feds wanted to encourage E85′s use, so the actual formula is:
MPGethanol = MPGmeasured / 0.15
Yes the formula says to take the measured ethanol mileage and multiply by 7!
Then the MPGgas and MPGethanol numbers are averaged.
The Ethanol Effect