RFA: Most vehicles sold in 2015 approved by automakers for E15

By Renewable Fuels Association | January 11, 2016

Last year automakers sold a record 17.47 million vehicles in the United States, with an overwhelming majority explicitly approved by the manufacturer to use E15 (a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline), according to statistics from Autodata and an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association. As 2016 gets under way, an even larger share of vehicles sold in the U.S. is expected to be clearly approved for E15 use by automakers. 

RFA estimates that E15 was unequivocally identified by auto manufacturers as an approved fuel for slightly more than 60 percent of model year (MY) 2015 vehicles sold, equating to some 10.7 million automobiles. This number is expected to grow in 2016, as strong sales are expected to continue and more than 70 percent of MY 2016 vehicles carry the manufacturers’ explicit endorsement of E15. Recent analysis by RFA showed that Fiat Chrylser, General Motors, Ford, Toyota/Lexus, Audi/Porsche/Volkswagen, Honda/Acura, Jaguar, and Land Rover all clearly identify E15 as an approved fuel for MY2016 vehicles.

“With each passing day, the number of automakers approving the use of E15 vehicles on U.S. roadways continues to grow,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “As we begin 2016 three important trends are worth noting: first, vehicle sales show no signs of slowing down; second, an even larger percentage of new cars, pickups, and SUVs are explicitly approved by their manufacturer for E15; and third, the oldest vehicles in the fleet— model years 2000 and older not EPA-approved for E15 use —are being scrapped at an accelerated rate. This means that someday in the not-so-distant future, nearly every car, truck, or SUV in the country will be unambiguously approved by the auto manufacturer for E15 and we can put to rest the false notion that carmakers don’t allow the use of E15.”

While automakers only began identifying E15 as an approved fuel for new vehicles following registration of E15 as a legal fuel in 2010, the U.S. EPA has approved the use of E15 in all vehicles built since 2001. This means more than 85 percent of the vehicles on the road today are legally approved to use E15.

According to Autodata, the 17.47 million vehicles sold in 2015 just edged the previous record of 17.35 million sold in 2000.