French ethanol fuel sales rose 13% in 2022 on E85 jump – producers

French ethanol sales rose 13% in 2022 as consumers looking to limit fuel spending increasingly turned to cheaper gasoline containing up to 85% ethanol, a trend that should continue this year, producers said on Tuesday.

Total ethanol sales reached 1.47 million cubic metres, up from 1.30 million in 2021. Sales of E85 rose nearly 83% to 854,000 cubic metres.

“Last year’s success is linked to rising concern about the war in Ukraine that made prices of fuel soar, and the fact that flex-fuel kit makers were able to meet the extra demand,” Sylvain Demoures, secretary general of France’s ethanol and alcohol producers group SNPAA, said.

Ethanol fuel in France is made using cereal or sugar beet crops.

Although more ethanol is needed than standard gasoline to cover the same distance, lower taxes mean ethanol remains cheaper for motorists.

E85 fuel, the lowest-priced gasoline on the French market, requires a conversion kit to be fitted on engines.

Demoures forecast that sales of E85 would likely gain an extra 25% in 2023 to reach a market share of 8%, up from 6.5% in 2022 and 4% in 2021.

Source: Tap News Agency