France’s ethanol success story


Renewable ethanol continues to build its popularity in France, where motorists have already made E10 (petrol containing 10% ethanol) the top-selling gasoline blend and where the government has approved the use of conversion kits that allow petrol cars to use fuel containing up to 85% ethanol.

According to figures from the French bioethanol producers’ groups SNPAA, E10 now has 40.7% of the petrol market in France, up from 37.9% late year. That’s good news not just for motorists but for the environment, because ethanol use in fuel helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and – in higher blends – also reduces emissions of harmful pollutants.

Reuters reported this week that the government’s decision to approve the flex-fuel conversion kits will boost demand for crop-based ethanol in France over the next year. SNPAA estimates that 10 million French cars could adopt the kits and then be able to use run on E85. The kits cost around €700 including installation, and soon pay for themselves considering the lower price at the pump for E85.

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