If you own a car, chances are fuel costs take a big hit on your wallet. Nebraskans who own a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) have options at the pump that can save some money and even farmers have the option to use cheaper biodiesel.
FFV's are able to operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline up to E85, a blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent ordinary gasoline. This means FFV owners can fill up with any blend in any amount at any time without worry of mixing fuels or using an incompatible blend. Since ethanol is priced lower than gasoline, higher the ethanol blends carry a lower price.
As gas prices rise, the cost of E85 has become even more attractive to FFV owners despite the lower MPG rates.
"When you are filling up your flex fuel vehicle, look at the price of E10, E30, E85 and other ethanol blends to save money. Even with the reduced mileage of E85, it may still be economical for flex fuel vehicles to use E85 and other ethanol blends," said Don Hutchens, executive director for the Nebraska Corn Board.
He recommends that drivers calculate your cost per mile rather than just looking at as reduced miles per gallon as the cost can often offset the lower MPG rates.
One in ten Nebraskans drives a flex fuel vehicle or FFV - that's over 150,000.
"There are enough flex fuel vehicles in Nebraska to fill Memorial Stadium twice! Many drivers don't realize they have an FFV since they don't look any different or cost any more than a standard vehicle," Hutchens said. "All you need to do is check your owner's manual or see if you have a flex fuel badge somewhere on the exterior of the vehicle."
Some FFV's also have a yellow gas cap.
In 2011, ethanol saved American households over $1,200 and reduced gas prices by $1.09. As gas prices increase, FFV owners have even more reason to choose ethanol blended fuel.
E85 pumps and flex fuel pumps offering E10, E20, E30 and E85 and other options can be found across Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, York, Fremont, Grand Island, North Platte, Ogallala and other communities.
Locations can be found at e85prices.com or by downloading a flex fuel location app on a smartphone.
Ethanol isn't the only renewable fuel helping consumers.
Biodiesel was named America' first advanced biofuel and has continually exceeded the production benchmarks set forth by the EPA. Over half of the farmers in Nebraska use biodiesel on their farms. Additionally, co-products from biodiesel production add value to livestock in Nebraska-as much as $13 per cow and $3 per hog.
There are a number of economic, environmental and energy security benefits when choosing ethanol and biodiesel blended fuels.