More than 70 percent of the Top 20 bestselling cars as identified by Edmunds/AOL Auto have been explicitly approved by automakers to use E15 in 2014 models. This includes all Ford, GM and Volkswagen 2014 models and certain models of Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Land Rover.
This information definitely shines a light on the oil industry’s current stance which is to not make E15 available to consumers and to not allow consumers the opportunity to choose the blended fuel they feel most comfortable with.
In many cases, the oil industry is even bullying independent retailers into not selling higher blends at their stations. Let’s not forget this example, shared by Ron Miller, a Pekin native with four decades of experience in the ethanol industry:
Zarco 66, a Phillips distributor in Kansas, tried to fill one tank with gasoline and one with ethanol and offered consumers five grades of gasoline ranging from 87 octane E0 to 105 octane E85. His first sin: He priced the products according to his cost. Since ethanol runs 80 cents a gallon cheaper than regular gasoline, you can imagine the strange price sign showing the higher the octane rating, the cheaper the price. Octane is money in gasoline retailing. His biggest sin, however, was not selling Phillips' premium-priced unleaded gasoline. For that he was slapped hard by Phillips Petroleum and ultimately forced to remove the ethanol, although lawsuits are pending.
With 70 percent of the top 20 bestselling cars approved to run E15, oil’s reasons for not selling the higher blend becomes increasing more about losing market share and less about benefits to the consumer.