By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – a new, cheaper fuel is being sold in parts of Nebraska, but critics aren't sure it's a good idea—just yet.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved the sale of Ethanol 15 gasoline for cars made in 2001 and later. But about 95 percent of the cars on the road cannot use it.
BMW/Mini, Honda/Acura. Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki and Volvo automakers deemed these cars incompatible with E15.
If drivers put the fuel, which is made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gas, in their cars, Triple A of Nebraska said, the engines will fail, the fuel systems will get damaged and the "check engine" lights will read false. Warrantee covers none of these damages.
"E15 will become the fuel of the future," said Public Affairs Director with Triple A Nebraska, Rose White. "But it has to be done in a proper way. And that means it has to be used in vehicles that are proofed for its use."
Triple A was concerned that because E15 is five to 10 cents cheaper than other fuels, consumers will put it in their cars without knowing whether or not the cars can run on it.
But proponents said the fuel damage concerns were overstated and that there is plenty of time to educate drivers on E15 since a small number of stations in the country offer it.
Michael Moore, who drove a 1999 Tahoe, said he already uses E10 gas and would consider using E15.
"I would use water if it was cheaper than what it is right now," Moore said.
He did admit he'd use E15 with caution.
"I don't want to be putting garbage in my car and ruining my engine in the long run."
The EPA is pushing for E15 because it reduces both greenhouse emissions and the United States' dependency on foreign oil.
Ways to check if your car's gas tank can take E15 are checking the inside of the gas tank door handle, the owner's manual or asking your dealership. Nine states offer E15. You can see the list of more than 30 stations that offer E15 at http://www.chooseethanol.com/pages/e15-stations-by-state.
Cities that are already selling E15 or are about to include Lincoln, Brainard, Weston, Ceresco and Dwight. Drivers in Iowa will see E15 sold in Marion, Fredericksburg, Baxter, Cresco, Rock Rapids, Coon Rapids, Mapleton and Creston.
Flex-fuel cars with Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota/Scion/Lexus and Volkswagen/Audi may accept E15.
Porsches of any year and model can run on E15.
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