I try not to be too ‘environmental’ here too often so I will consider this an economics post. Plus this one really got me going:The US according to Lutz: ethanol, yes, diesels, not so much – Autoblog
In that case, Lutz’s opinion is that just about all the customer will glean from an oilburner is a higher car payment.
He goes on to say that Ethanol will end up being a much better option for most consumers. Maybe for consumers that didn’t pass forth grade math! It’s pretty simple:
- Say a diesel car does cost $1K more than a equivalent gas/ethanol burner.
- Assume also that the average car is financed for 48 months, so at on an 8% loan, that’s an extra $24.41 per month on the payment side.
- Now let’s assume that th average American drives 300 miles per week, that’s roughly 1200 miles per month.
- So let’s get today’s national average prices for E85 and Diesel:
- E85: $2.43 per gallon
- Diesel: $3.373 per gallon
Hmm…starting to look pretty bad for diesel…and this may be were Lutz is right. May consumers may stop once they realize their payment and each fill-up will be more on diesel.
But here’s what they don’t think about:
- According to this article Dorothy Mills trailer , average MPG from E85 is 20-25% lower than a gasoline version of a similar vehicle. According to the EPA site
, the mileage on a diesel car is 31% higher than a similar gasoline car (38 MPG vs. 29 MPG for a 2006 automatic VW Jetta).
- Now if we use the current CAFE standard MPG rating (27.5 MPG) as a baseline, that means the average E85 based car gets 20.6 MPG and the average diesel gets 35.8 MPG.
- Therefore the E85 car would need 58.3 gallons of fuel per month at a cost of $141.55
and the diesel would need 33.5 gallons of fuel per month at a cost of $113.06.
- There is a monthly savings of $28.49 on fuel, and a net savings of $4.08 even after the extra monthly payment is figured in.
What’s so hard about that math Bob?