I am seeing more and more stations popping up with 10% Ethanol added to their gas. Sheetz is the largest chain to go so far I believe. Many people are seeing, as well as documenting lower MPG's using this type of gas. So I headed over to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byfueltype.htm and checked the 2007 ratings on E85 cars, even they get significantly reduced mileage on E85 versus gas.
My summary to this thought is unless the 10% added is cheaper by enough to cover the loss in MPG why use it? 2nd, E85 is not cheaper, nor is at as readily available so why the loss of MPG acceptable for those who go that route? I think I am missing something simple on Ethanol.
Ethanol does not exist in gasoline in order to save money in this country, it's as simple as that.
It replaces other detergents, supports the national economy, and reduces dependence on foriegn oil. There are also claims that it causes less pollution, but Iono on that end of that.
It has less energy than gasoline, just as gasoline has less than diesel. People whine their asses off about how it has less energy content when they're not driving diesels, which has the the highest energy content for something easily available (I'm not sure about propane and NG, so I won't say about them, though I think NG is higher).
The reason that ethanol is being used more is that the additive MTBE was banned. Previously MTBE was used to raise the octane of the fuel to an acceptable level. Now there are fewer choices. Ethanol is 104 octane so it serves the same purpose as MTBE. But since the energy content is lower, the FE is lower by 1-2% supposedly.