E15 No Issue For New Kohler Engines

Posted on August 30, 2011

Since the EPA first issued a waver paving the way for the public sale of a higher 15% blend (E15) of ethanol and gasoline, manufacturers and users of small gasoline-powered engines and equipment have looked toward the introduction of E15 to the market with trepidation.

While the EPA has gone to some lengths to state that E15 is really meant only for late model automobiles, the fact that it is likely to be less expensive than the current E10 blend and that many consumers won’t pay close attention to what they’re pumping, will lead to a great deal of “misfueling” – the official term for using the higher blend fuel in engines for which it is not intended. And misfueling is expected to cause widespread problems, as it has been linked to everything from uneven engine performance to actual engine damage.

In one instance, however, fuel won’t be much of an issue as Kohler, the Wisconsin-based manufacturer of engines and generator sets, announced that its new Command Pro EFI FlexFuel E85 engines are designed to operate on all ethanol fuel blends up to E85.

The new engines, available in ratings from 19 to 29 hp, incorporate a closed-loop fuel injection system engineered to automatically sense the ethanol mix in the engine – even if that includes many different grades – and optimize performance accordingly. “In the simplest terms, our new EFI FlexFuel E85 engine utilizes lower cost fuels more efficiently than any other engine on the market,” said Mark Johansen, senior product manager at Kohler Engines. “As an added benefit, many end users will be glad to know that our new Kohler EFI FlexFuel E85 engine can safely use E15 fuel.

"Unfortunately, many lawn and landscape pros have run into performance issues when using E15 because of its corrosive properties. Then, they go on to learn – after it’s too late – that most equipment manufacturers don’t cover damage caused by E15 fuel. Our new EFI FlexFuel E85 engine can easily handle E15, while also providing security for all other fuel types up to E85.”

More details on the new Kohler engines will be available in an upcoming issue of Diesel Progress.