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Superethanol-E85: the first E85 conversion box is approved for cleaner, greener, cheaper driving

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The French authorities have just approved the first model of an E85 conversion box, manufactured in France. These boxes make it possible for petrol-powered engines to also run on Superethanol-E85, the greenest, cleanest, cheapest fuel. Other manufacturers are also in the running. This E85 box provides some very interesting possibilities for motorists’ fuel budgets!

This comes as good news for air quality and the climate, at a time when the European Commission has just summoned France to the EU Court of Justice for defaulting on air quality obligations. France has also exceeded – by 6% – its ceiling for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the industry producing the most emissions, i.e. haulage and transportation, in 2016.

Approved boxes eagerly awaited by both motorists and professionals

Since the publication on 15 December, of the bylaw outlining the approval and fitting of E85 conversion boxes, several firms have been working to demonstrate that their E85 boxes meet the official specifications, conducting vehicle emissions tests at UTAC (French Technical Union for the Automobile, Motorcycle and Bicycle industries) and setting up guarantees.
The firm BIOMOTORS won the first prototype approval for an E85 conversion box catering to vehicles meeting Euro 3 or 4 standards, with less than 7 hp and fitted with an indirect injection engine. The vehicles involved were all registered between 2001 and 2010. This manufacturer is undergoing the approval process for other vehicle categories, especially the most recent, including Euro 5 / Euro 6 vehicles, with less than 7 hp and fitted with a direct injection engine.

The firms FlexFuel Energy Development and ARM Engineering are also undergoing the approval process for several vehicle categories. The full list of box manufacturers currently applying for approval is available on the website www.infoe85.fr.

Official approval of E85 conversion boxes will help motorists make informed choices, and make it possible for them to change the energy type specified on their vehicle registration documents as a petrol-powered vehicle fitted with an approved box. An estimated 10 million petrol-powered vehicles are E85 conversion box-ready.

Nicolas Rialland – Bioethanol Officer at the French Beet Growers Association (CGB): “The Bioethanol Collective is delighted to learn that this first approval for an E85 conversion box has now been issued. Many others are set to be issued in the coming months, which will satisfy growing demand among motorists for Superethanol-E85”.

Superethanol-E85, the cleanest, greenest, cheapest fuel, available right now

The Superethanol-E85 network has now expanded to 1015 service stations since May (see the application: Mes Stations E85). Retailing at an average pump price of €0.70/l*, Superethanol-E85 helps save approximately €500 over 13,000 km compared to petrol**. Bioethanol helps to cut GHG emissions by an average 66% compared to the petrol it replaces***

Nicolas Kurtsoglou – Fuel Officer at the French Association of Manufacturers of Agricultural Alcohol (SNPAA): “The bioethanol sector asserts that Superethanol-E85 is a more environment-friendly solution as well as being an instantly available solution to improve air quality. A December 2017 Swiss study has shown that in vehicles designed from the outset as flexfuel, Superethanol-E85 can cut particle emissions by nearly 90%, and nitrogen oxide emission by 30%, compared to petrol-powered engines, in real driving conditions ****”.

France is the European leader in bioethanol production. Most ethanol used in France has been produced locally, using plant matter from French farms, and residues from processing these plants into food products.

So Superethanol-E85 is THE fuel for ecological transition, as of now.

* Source: www.prix-carburants.gouv.fr on 16/05/2018
** Hypotheses: a car using 7l/100 km of Unleaded 95-E10; 25% overconsumption with Superethanol-E85 compared to Unleaded 95-E10; price of Unleaded 95-E10 = €1.52/l.*
*** European average in 2016- source: ePURE
**** Czerwinski study – December 2017 – Research on Real Driving Emissions with E85 and Two Flex Fuel Vehicles – Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).

About Collective du Bioethanol

Collective du Bioethanol is represented by the French Inter-branch Beet and Sugar Association (AIBS) and the French Agricultural Alcohol Producers Association (SNPAA). It aims to raise awareness of the bioethanol industry among professionals and the general public. Bioethanol is currently incorporated into petrol in France, either pure or in a derivative, as follows: up to 7.5% in Unleaded 95 and Unleaded 98, up to 10% in Unleaded 95-E10 and up to 85% in Superethanol-E85.

Find out more : www.bioethanolcarburant.com

Approval technical factsheet:

The bylaw setting forth the approval procedure for E85 boxes helps both professional fitters and motorists to make informed choices as to the various offers on the market, and pinpoint those which have been thoroughly checked via the approval process.


Approved Superethanol-E85 conversion systems cannot be sold alone. The following services have to be bundled in:

  •  Fitting of the right Superethanol-E85 conversion system for your vehicle and its number of cylinders,
  • Configuring the Superethanol-E85 conversion system for your engine,
  • A manufacturer warranty to cover any deterioration of parts in contact with fuel due to the box being fitted, should the automotive manufacturers warranty no longer apply.

The bylaw requires compliance with the following:

  • Superethanol-E85 conversion systems must not interfere with other electric fittings / electronics.
  • Vehicles fitted with Superethanol-E85 conversion systems must still meet all the requirements of its original European standard for pollutant emissions.
  • A manufacturer warranty, covered by an insurance policy, must be provided for the Superethanol-E85 conversion box, for parts in contact with fuel, should the automotive manufacturers warranty not apply.
  • The French government must be sent a list of approved fitters.
  • Fitters must be provided with a fitting procedure, for box-ready vehicles.

The bylaw specifies that motorists can change their vehicle registration document in France, replacing “ES” (for petrol) with “FE” (Superethanol-petrol) in the P3 box. When selling on their vehicle, the new vehicle registration document is free in all regions in mainland France except Brittany and Picardy where it is half-price, and Centre Val de Loire which has maintained the full rate.