Ivan! Where you been?
It’s becoming well known that for E85 to grow as an altenative fuel is going to take both consumer and government support. Most people sing out when they hear about government support, stating that the fuel should be left to itself so the market can decide. Government support doesn’t always mean spending money on subsidies, however.
Another way that governments can support is by foregoing revenue. In Hungary’s case, the government there charges a fuel excise only on the 15% gasoline content in the E85 fuel. As a result, E85 is quite a bit cheaper than either gasoline or diesel in Hungary.
It’s a small industry we’re talking about here. There’s only 4 pumps so far, but the latest one has seen far higher demand than what they were expecting. Hungary’s E85 supply is sourced from local sugar industry, so hopefully that’s helping out as well. Saab do sell BioPower in Hungary, and the Ford Focus Flexfuel is also sold there.
The source story is here. I’ve found that with Eastern European stories, things are not always as they seem. Ivan, if you’re out there, maybe you could share your view of things from ground level there.