Around five million cars in France could run on the new fuel by 2040
Based on the data, as well as projections to 2040, shows that plug-in flex-fuel hybrids running on E85 operating 40 per cent of distance travelled as an electric vehicle are at least as climate-friendly as all-electric vehicles.
The report outlined how hybrids running on E85 have similar carbon neutrality to electric vehicles in terms of achieving carbon neutrality across their lifecycle.
Some petrol station forecourts across France continue to stock E85 fuel, in addition to Finland, Sweden and the United States.
E85 was previously available in the UK at forecourts owned by supermarket giant Morrisons, as well as B30 – which is a mix of 30 per cent biodiesel and 70 per cent standard diesel.
The data stated: “A report published by IFPEN has shown that as of today and in 2040, “compact” plug-in hybrid vehicles running on E85 are just as climate-friendly as all-electric vehicles with a long range.
“This applies even with the French-power mix that’s already low-carbon, provided we measure emissions over the entire life cycle.
“It is even more applicable with the EU-wide power mix with its higher CO2 footprint.”
The research paper, which was published in September 2022, suggested that five million plug-in hybrid vehicles could be running on Superethanol-E85 from local ethanol by 2040.
This type of ethanol already makes up seven per cent of fuel in France, up from four per cent in 2021, while more than a third of service stations have it available, as of 2022.
IFPEN suggests that it would be possible to have over five million flex-E85 hybrids by 2040 – making up between 15 and 20 per cent of vehicles on French roads.
It would also mean that only one per cent of French usable agricultural area would be used to cope with the number of vehicles using ethanol.
Plug-in hybrids could make use of further benefits when using E85 petrol, namely that it will be more readily available at filling stations, removing the need to wait at recharging stations to charge an EV.