The Washington Post’s July 20 review of the Chrysler 300 by columnist Warren Brown (On Wheels) contained an error regarding fuel economy which may simply have been a an editorial slip up, but still serves as a reminder that fuel economy for gasolines that contain ethanol may not be well understood, especially by consumers. AFPM’s Jeff Hazel responded and the Post ran his letter.

I enjoyed Warren Brown’s car review of the Chrysler 300 [“It’s more ‘get out of my way’ then get up and go,” Sports, July 20], but I noted that he stated the 300’s fuel economy as “19 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway, using regular or E85 (85 percent ethanol) gasoline.” Although the 300 can operate on E85 if it is equipped as a “flex fuel” vehicle, it cannot get the same mileage that way as it does using regular gasoline because the energy content of ethanol is only about 67 percent of the fuel used by the Environmental Protection Agency to test fuel economy.

Consumers should expect their fuel economy using E85 to be about 75 percent of what they get using regular gasoline (which usually contains 10 percent ethanol).

View the full letter to the editor here.

Jeff Hazle

Posted by Jeff Hazle

Jeff Hazle is the former Senior Director of Refining Technology for AFPM. To learn more about AFPM, visit