A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) has very good news for E15 and the ethanol industry. The survey found that 59 percent of surveyed drivers would by E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) if it was priced the same as regular fuel. This, according to Ron Lamberty, senior vice president for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) demonstrates there is public interest in E15 blended fuel.
“I think this shows that despite all of Big Oil’s misinformation and scare tactics, consumers are interested in purchasing E15 as an alternative to gasoline, even if the price were the same as gas. It’s especially encouraging when you consider the fact that at current prices, E15 would be 15 to 20 cents less than gasoline, and two to five cents under E10,” said Lamberty. He noted the survey results “mirror what we have been hearing from the marketers that are selling E15. In most cases, E15 becomes one of the top sellers in stations that add it.”
Howerver, Lamberty called NACS’ announcement of the survey “puzzling”. “NACS calls demand for E15 ‘insufficient’. I’ve been working in the convenience store industry for over 30 years and don’t think I’ve ever seen a product – much less a fuel product – that three out of five customers say they want. If there was, I can’t imagine that NACS would call that kind of demand ‘insufficient’. Most stations don’t sell one-tenth that much premium gasoline, and that has always been enough for oil companies to mandate it’s sale in their customers’ stations.”
NACS also said consumers need to be “educated about the positive attributes of these new fuels.” Lamberty responded by pointing out, “ACE, RFA, and our joint BYO Ethanol campaign hope that NACS will take us up on our standing offer to assist with E15 education. Over the past few years, most of the “education” marketers have received about E15 have been recycled ghost stories from the oil industry – which stands to gain the most if E15 is stopped before it even starts.”
Lamberty concluded, “Marketers that we have been able to educate on the real risks and real rewards of E15 and E85 have seen incredible benefits, especially this year, as control of RINS have added literally tens of thousands of profits to their bottom line. This survey shows EXACTLY why we want consumers to have the option of E15 and why Big Oil is fighting so hard against E15.”