Listen to Vehicle Manufacturers on E15

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 4, 2015

Let’s update an informative chart that’s critical in the continuing discussion of E15 fuel and the ethanol mandates of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Below is a listing, by vehicle manufacturers and model years, that shows whether a specific manufacturer recommends operation of its vehicles on E15, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 fuel that’s prevalent across the country.

We’ve posted the manufacturers/model years grid a number of times (including here and here), but this chart is updated to include the 2015 model year:


Key points:

  • Clearly, very few manufacturers across the 15 model years in the chart give the green light to use E15 in the operation of their vehicles.
  • Even in the two most recent model years, 2014 and 2015, still half of manufacturers do not recommend using E15 in their vehicles.
  • In model years 2001 through 2011, zero manufacturers recommend operating their vehicles on E15.

That last point underscores why manufacturers have warned that using E15 in vehicles that weren’t designed for it could void warranties. That’s a lot of red in the chart, a lot of vehicles on the road. In the case of model years 2010 and 2011, we’re talking about vehicles that aren’t all that old. Another point to remember: The average age of all light vehicles on the road today is about 11 years, according to IHS Automotive.

The thing worth repeating in the RFS/E15 debate is that Americans need the facts. Research has shown that engines and fuel systems in millions of vehicles could be damaged by E15, potentially putting motorists at risk and possibly hitting them with repair bills – bills that won’t be borne by ethanol and RFS boosters. Get the facts on the RFS at the Fill Up on Facts website, which has information on these risks, the refining “blend wall” that stems from the RFS’ broken mandates and more.

Potential problems with using E15 in vehicles that weren’t built to use it is the result of the failed RFS program, which seeks to dictate consumer and market behavior without reckoning the potential real-world impacts on both – seen in an ill-conceived proposal in Chicago that would force the city’s service stations to carry E15. The push for E15 is a direct result of RFS mandates for more and more ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply. Bob Greco, API group director for downstream and industry operations:

The “RFS is a relic of a bygone era of energy scarcity for our nation. The policy goal of the law that created the RFS, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, was energy security, which is being met through the energy-from-shale revolution that has, in fact, made this nation the number one oil and natural gas producer. … (I)t is clear that the rigid mandates of the RFS have no place in today’s energy market. This is because the mandate was based on gasoline use rising significantly when the opposite is occurring. … To be clear, no one disputes the value of renewable fuels. In fact, the oil and natural gas industry is the largest investor in renewable fuel technology and innovation. But the RFS, as a vehicle for advanced fuels, is simply broken – and it presents a clear danger to our economy and our citizens’ investments in their vehicles.”


Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.

Energy Tomorrow is a project of the American Petroleum Institute – the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry – speaking for the industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media.