Stimulated by a price per liter of around 80 euro cents, compared to some 2 euros for the SP98, conversions of vehicles to bioethanol (E85) were multiplied by seven in France in the first quarter of 2022, according to published registrations Tuesday by L’Argus and the firm NGC-Data.

But the volumes are still quite low, with 9,220 private vehicles adapted to ethanol out of more than 1.3 million cars traded on the second-hand market during the same period. Conversions of petrol vehicles, carried out using a box for a price of 800 to 1,200 euros, took off in parallel with petrol prices reaching the zenith.

These transformations mainly concern older vehicles, underlines NGC-Data, in particular among the leading brands of the French market such as Renault, Peugeot, Citroën and Dacia. However, ten Porsche sports cars have also been converted, a first according to NGC. Transformations concerning vehicles of American origin, equipped with V8, can also be interesting.

In all cases, a vehicle converted to this biofuel receives a new gray card establishing this change of status. It allows him to apply for a Crit’Air 2 badge which authorizes him, like the vehicles already holders by construction, to drive in the urban zones with low emissions (ZFE) which are multiplying in France. A redemption of virginity that can avoid sending an old car to the scrapyard.

For new OE vehicles, 6,846 bioethanol-powered Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover cars were registered between January and April, representing 1.4% of the market, according to the automotive platform.

Sales of bioethanol, an automotive fuel in which pure alcohol largely replaces gasoline, grew strongly in France in 2021. Widespread in Brazil, this fuel sees its environmental benefits regularly disputed. However, support for the agricultural sector obliges, the more classic E10 gasoline already contains bioethanol, as its name suggests, from 6 to 10% depending on the season, because, less flammable, the quantity is reduced. winter.

Similarly, ethanol that no longer ignites below 13° is only distributed as E85 during warm months. The rest of the year, the proportion of gasoline can go up to 35% in winter to preserve its detonating power. But fortunately for converts to E85, prices at the pump do not reflect this yoyo effect.

Made from wheat, corn or sugar beets, bioethanol emits less CO2 per liter than traditional fuels, but a vehicle converted to bioethanol consumes on average 15 to 25% more fuel than a petrol car.

Over the entire cycle, biofuels used in Europe would have a carbon footprint only 2% lower than that of gasoline, estimated the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in a major comparative study published in 2021. France, a leading country in Europe in supporting this biofuel, does not follow.