France’s clean mobility move: E85 conversion boxes approved for motorists


The French government this week approved the first model of an E85 conversion box manufactured in France. These boxes allow standard petrol cars to run on Superethanol E85 (fuel with 85% ethanol), which is sold at a significantly cheaper price than standard gasoline and delivers significant reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases compared to regular petrol.

According to figures from the French bioethanol producers’ group SNPAA, the Superethanol-E85 network has now expanded to more than 1,000 service stations in France since May. Retailing at an average pump price of €0.70/l, Superethanol-E85 helps save approximately €500 over 13,000 km compared to petrol. An estimated 10 million petrol-powered vehicles are E85 conversion box-ready. Ethanol also reduces GHG emissions by an average 66% over the petrol it replaces. The more ethanol in the blend, the better the savings.

“Superethanol-E85 is a more environment-friendly solution as well as being an instantly available solution to improve air quality,” said Nicolas Kurtsoglou, Fuel Officer at the French Association of Manufacturers of Agricultural Alcohol (SNPAA). “A December 2017 Swiss study has shown that in vehicles designed from the outset as flex-fuel, Superethanol-E85 can cut particle emissions by nearly 90%, and nitrogen oxide emission by 30%, compared to petrol-powered engines, in real driving conditions.”

Renewable ethanol continues to build its popularity in France, where motorists have already made E10 (petrol containing 10% ethanol) the top-selling gasoline blend. This comes as good news for air quality and the climate, at a time when the European Commission has just summoned France to the EU Court of Justice for defaulting on air quality obligations.

Read SNPPA press release here

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