German Buyer Strike Stops Ethanol

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
german buyer strike stops ethanol

German motorists won an important battle against ethanol. They used a downright un-German tactic: Widespread insurrection. They simply won’t buy the stuff. An edict handed down from Brussels ordered that Super has to contain 10 percent of ethanol. An alliance from Germany’s ADAC autoclub to Greenpeace said the new gasoline is a work of the devil, it is liable to ruin cars, and the environment. That didn’t impress Brussels. But then, a buyer strike did set in.

Motorists in Germany shun the ethyl with ethanol and buy 98 Super Plus high-test instead, reports Das Autohaus from Germany. Refiners and gas stations are sitting on full tanks of unsold Super E10. On the other hand, there already are shortages of the more expensive, but also more energy-laden Super Plus.

Yesterday, gasoline companies pulled the emergency brake and declared that they would stop the roll-out of Super E10 in Germany. The pathetic petrol is only available in less than half of Germany’s gas stations.

Economy Minister Brüderle joined the fray and does what he does best: Run down the clock. He announced a “gasoline summit” where stakeholders should explain their position. No date has been set. At the summit, pretty much everybody will be against the bio-benzene: Customers don’t want it, auto clubs warn against it, environmentalists such as Greenpeace warn that the fuel will increase CO2 production. “E10 can ruin cars and the environment,” says Greenpeace.

The European Auto Maker Association ACEA is pouring gasoline in the fire by publishing compatibility lists that add to the widespread confusion.

Says the list: “It is important to note that the compatibility of vehicle with petrol depends both on the petrol octane rating and its ethanol content. The vehicle’s octane requirement must be met and the ethanol content of the petrol may not exceed the compatibility limit. In case of doubt, drivers are advised to contact their dealer.”

No wonder everybody avoids it like the devil the holy water.

Join the conversation
7 of 32 comments
  • Bimmer Bimmer on Mar 04, 2011

    I also fill up with Shell V-Power, as it contains no corn juice. I believe that Premium gas from Petro Canada also ethanol free. So far I know for sure that all grades of Husky gas have at least 10% of ethanol, so I wont be buying their fuel. Last Summer when I just purchased my car and used regular gas, I could hear pinging on hard acceleration. It disappeared with use of high grade octane, eventhough my car was designed to run on 87.

    • See 4 previous
    • Steve65 Steve65 on Mar 04, 2011

      If he can afford to use a vintage Ferrari as a regular driver, he can afford to pay a few extra dollars per fillup to avoid having to put E10 in it.

  • Herb Herb on Mar 04, 2011

    People in Germany are simply fed up. Aside from the owners of about 3 - 5 million cars that simply won't run with E10 gas, the others do know very well that long-term test results with this gas regarding engine durability are not available. What they know is, that they would neither get money from the manufacturer nor from government should they ran into any problems. So, they take the more expensive fuel and wait and see. After using this stuff and having an up-to-date car with low mileage certified for E10 I have noticed an increase in consumption of about 6 to 8% going well beyond the 3% conceded by professional do-gooders. BTW: The cheapest gas (i.e., E10) today in my area is 5.87 Euro per gallon. E5 gas is 6.21 Euro per gallon, 102 octane gas is 6.36 per gallon (assuming 3.79 liters as a gallon). This is just one reason why politicians and oil company executives DO need bodyguards.

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.