Fossil Fuels And Electric Are Failing: Can "Hooch" Save America?

In a bid to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly future, biofuels, particularly ethanol, are gaining renewed interest as a viable alternative to traditional gasoline. This shift is being driven by the realization that the electric vehicle (EV) economy may not be the sole solution to our environmental and social justice targets.

Randall Scott White

2/9/20245 min read

Biofuels, Particularly Ethanol, Are Making a Comeback Baby! But With an Anti-fossil Fuel Push, Along With Reports of Higher Than Expected Costs of EV Ownership, Who Can Blame Ethanol’s Rise Again?

According to new statistical reports released by the Renewable Fuels Association, the value of the U.S. ethanol industry’s exports soared to a record level of just over $7.1 billion in 2023.  Ethanol export volumes strengthened to 1.43 billion gallons in 2023, the third-highest level on record. 

This after An October report by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that, after accounting for all of the hidden costs involved in owning an EV, that price becomes much more significant than an internal combustion engine vehicle.

$17 Per Gallon In Comparison To Fuels, Are You Kidding Me?

According to the report, "Assuming the EV is driven for 10 years and 120,000 miles—

an optimistic assumption given that that the average U.S. light-duty vehicle is driven 11,467 miles per year (EERE, 2020) and most EVs are used for short-distance trips and commutes—these subsidies and the average of $4,569 in extra costs incurred by EV owners for charging and electricity losses are equivalent to the EV owner paying $53,267 over the lifetime of the vehicle.

EV advocates claim the cost of electricity to charge an EV is $1.21/gallon equivalent (Edison Electric Institute, 2021). However, the true cost of fueling a MY2021 EV, including excess charging costs and subsidies, is equal to $17.33 per gallon of gasoline. This analysis shows that electricity is a long way from becoming a cost-effective transportation fuel compared to gasoline."

SOURCE: Overcharged Expectations: Unmasking the True Costs of Electric Vehicles
October 2023 by the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Scary Gasoline Price Increases Are Coming

Seemingly lost in the excitement of “All Electric” and anti-fossil fuel movements, biofuels like E85 as a third alternative are being rediscovered as the ultimate clean, renewable energy and lower fuel cost victor with a vengeance. (Oh hydrogen, please sit down for this one, this isn’t about you).

As Spring of 2024 waits in the wings, and major militaries in the Middle East and elsewhere around the planet are trading tit-for-tat strikes via proxies, drivers are once again playing attention to the tea leaves of geopolitical tensions leading to upcoming explosive prices of gasoline, with possible long-term supply disruptions.

Car and truck drivers have lived through gas price spike wars before, but nothing like what is on the horizon.

This time, economic and political climates are different. Rather than logic, it seems consumers have picked a “team” to try and make their daily motoring behaviors best comport with. The dollar is already under immense pressure, and prices for gasoline are poised to skyrocket as inflation double-whammies moms and dads just trying to keep everything together on the home front.

At this moment, oil markets are wound like a tight spring, causing renewed interest in E85 and biodiesel as viable alternatives to traditional gasoline and diesel fuels. This shift is being driven by the realization that the electric vehicle (EV) economy may not be the sole solution to our environmental and social justice targets. Basically, if WW3 breaks out, people want more than gasoline as an option, but Electric Vehicles (EVs) are also running into problems as an all-in-one solution for America’s motoring needs.


Recall that alcohol fuel (ethanol) was America’s first energy propulsion juice for automobiles before prohibition crowned gasoline as the new king of auto fuels. It’s what tractors, Model T’s and Model A’s ran on before gasoline was even around. Yup, sugar and yeast make engines go putt-putt-putt and cranks the pistons even better than gasoline does.

Also for consideration are good ol’ hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius. At the recent DC Auto Show, experts and enthusiasts gathered to showcase the potential of ethanol as a clean and renewable fuel source. There are even concept vehicles combining FlexFuel and Hybrid technologies, allowing for charging 20 - 40 mile commutes and only then kicking in E85 as a cleaner, more sustainable fuel than gasoline. The event highlighted the numerous benefits of ethanol, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and decreased dependence on fossil fuels.

With the high cost of new EVs and a low resale value when they are used with battery troubles, the growth of E85 engine kits is also driving adoption of FlexFuel demand. While there are currently used Flex Fuel vehicles on the market, many combustible engine vehicles can be converted to run ethanol with after market conversion kits., the leading resource for locating mobile mechanics that install engine fuel conversion services, is offering free ethanol conversion kit compatibility checks. This service allows vehicle owners to determine if their gasoline-powered vehicle is compatible with an ethanol “upgrade” to their vehicle’s engine, allowing it to operate on two fuels instead of being limited to just gasoline. “People are quite pleased once they realize they can run a fuel other than gasoline in their car or truck,” says WAY TO GO! Mobile Mechanic Network’s Joshua Sewell. “The website also provides a conversion estimate, we can convert a lot of used cars so they don’t need to buy something new and can save about a dollar a gallon compared to gasoline.”


Community-based workshops, such as those at Whiskey Hill Farms, are also gaining traction. These workshops provide a platform for vehicle owners to learn about ethanol conversion, share experiences, and receive hands-on training from experts in the field.

Ethanol offers a unique opportunity to address both environmental and social justice targets. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable farming practices, ethanol contributes to a cleaner and more equitable future. It also supports local economies and reduces our reliance on foreign oil.

Ethanol has been shown to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40% compared to gasoline. Additionally, it is estimated that the widespread adoption of ethanol could create thousands of new jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Ethanol represents a significant step towards achieving energy independence. By utilizing domestically produced ethanol, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security. This shift towards renewable fuels aligns with our long-term goals of sustainability and self-sufficiency.

One of the key advantages of ethanol is its compatibility with existing infrastructure. Unlike other alternative fuels, ethanol can be seamlessly integrated into our current fueling stations, making it a convenient choice for vehicle owners.

To accelerate the adoption of ethanol as a mainstream fuel, government support and incentives play a crucial role. By advocating for policies that promote ethanol production and distribution, we can create a favorable environment for its widespread use.

The ethanol industry presents exciting economic opportunities. From job creation in farming and production to the development of new technologies, ethanol has the potential to stimulate economic growth and revitalize rural communities.

While ethanol conversion holds immense promise, it is essential to address challenges such as infrastructure development, public awareness, and ensuring the availability of ethanol fueling stations. Collaborative efforts between government, industry, and consumers are key to overcoming these hurdles.