But ethanol industry representatives say fuel economy on E85 won’t suffer as much as the federal government states, and a number of factors determine your actual miles per gallon.
Even if E85 isn’t a bargain right now, it could be down the road, says Gillis. “If we ever had a good price break — I’m talking a dollar difference from gasoline — that would make a big difference,” he said.
There’s also the alternative view that by the time we’re accustomed to E85, it will be passé. Mary-Leah Assad, spokeswoman for the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, points out that an even greener biofuel called “cellulosic ethanol,” made from agricultural, wood, or food waste, is being heavily researched as an alternative.
“A number of Massachusetts R&D firms are investigating cost-effective cellulosic ethanol production, so we want to pave the way for their products and their efforts,” she e-mailed me.
And you thought “Back to the Future” was just a movie.