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Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn, sugar, grain or straw that can be blended with gasoline and used in virtually any gasoline-powered vehicle manufactured after 1980. Most gasoline-powered engines can run on a gasoline blend containing up to 10% ethanol. This is known as "E-10." In Canada, ethanol is usually made from corn (Ontario) or wheat (prairies).

There is now focus on reducing the costs of ethanol production and using non-food feedstock materials such as straw, wood and switch grass, known as cellulosic ethanol.

Environmental Benefits

Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because the grain or other biomass used to make the ethanol absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows. The CANMET Energy Technology Centre estimates that a litre of biomass ethanol used to replace a litre of gasoline reduces the accumulation of carbon dioxide by about half. (Source: NRCan/GHGenius)

Ethanol in Fleet Operations

Since December 2010 federal regulations have required that gasoline in Canada contain 5% renewable fuel content overall. Provinces may have their own regulations. In BC the minimum renewable fuel content in gasoline is also 5%.

An E-10 blend can be used in any vehicle manufactured in 1980 or later, and requires no modifications to the vehicle's engine or fuel system. E-10 has a minimal impact on a vehicle's fuel economy or horsepower. Overall, the use of E-10 increases fuel consumption by an average of 2% when compared with pure gasoline.

Automakers have a variety of flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on blends of up to 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. E-85 vehicles use an on-board sensor to detect and automatically adjust for the fuel mixture being used at any given time. FlexFuel vehicles are distinguished by a yellow gas cap and branding on each vehicle. The E-85 blend is not yet commercially available in British Columbia.

E3 Fleet Partners

The E3 Fleet program reflects the commitment and expertise of many people, including some of the country’s most innovative fleet managers. All have a common passion – to see Canada’s fleets take a cleaner, green road to the future.

The Fraser Basin Council launched E3 Fleet in 2006 in cooperation with Climate Change Central (Alberta) and Fleet Challenge. Since October 2016, the program has been managed by Fleet Challenge Inc.

The E3 Fleet Charter members were also pivotal to its success: Auto-Gas Propane, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Environment, City of Coquitlam, Corporation of Delta, Enbridge, City of Hamilton, Hydro One, City of Kelowna, Township of Langley, District of Maple Ridge, City of North Vancouver, Novex Couriers, City of Prince George, District of Saanich, University of BC and Municipality of Whistler. We’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and it’s only just begun. Join us!

E3 Fleet in Brief

E3 Fleet is a Canada-wide program that helps public and private sector organizations green up their vehicle fleets.

E3 Fleet offers information and tools to help you increase fuel efficiency in your fleet, reduce harmful emissions, manage expenses, and incorporate new technologies, fuels and best management practices. We offer Fleet Review and Fleet Rating, unique opportunities for you to boost fleet performance and receive recognition for that achievement.

Reach Us

For more information on Fleet Challenge and the E3 Fleet Standards program, contact:

Roger Smith
Executive Director
Fleet Challenge and E3 Fleet Program

T: 416 418-9931

Jana Cervinka

Director, Communications and External Relations
T: 954 299 5885