The first Minnesota E85 Promotion of the season will be next Friday, June 12th in Alexandria. The alternative fuel facility will sell E85 for 85 cents off per gallon from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Kelly Marzak of Clean Fuel & Vehicle Technologies, American Lung Association in Minnesota, and American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest noted that the Pipeline Travel Plaza is a new truck stop that opened and began selling E85 in November. The E85 promotion will coincide with their grand opening celebration. Invitations have been sent to more than 1200 flex fuel vehicle owners in the Alexandria area.
The Pipeline Travel Plaza is located at Highway 27 W & Cty Rd 45 (3181 Evergreen Ln) in Alexandria, Minnesota. “If you or someone you know drives an FFV, stop by for a great price on E85,” said Marzak.
Supporters of the event include Douglas County Corn & Soybean Growers, Minnesota Corn Growers Association and members of the MN Clean Air Choice Team.
Thousands of people across the country defined “What is renewable to you?” when they selected the video, “Funky Fresh Flex Fuel” created by Chip McAfee from Arizona as the winner of the E85 Flex-Fuel Challenge. The contest was launched by the Renewable Fuels Association in early March to get a new generation of Americans, mainly college students, engaged in the promotion and support of ethanol. Promotion of the contest was done primarily through social media networks such as Facebook.
Submissions for the contest ended on April 3 and then peer voting took place between April 4-May 29, 2009. From there, a panel of judges selected the final winner, based on creativity, quality and relevance. McAfee won a Macbook Air computer for his winning entry.
A people’s choice award was also given to the entry that received the highest number of total votes through the duration of the contest. The photo submission, “University of Wisconsin-Platteville,” won this award and the photographer received a Passport hard drive.
The Fuel-Flex Challenge was sponsored by the Kansas Corn Commission, the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the Renewable Fuels Association. The fun will continue this summer with the launch of a new photo contest. Stay tuned for more details.
A bill that would provide a state tax credit for installing alternative fuels into retail facilities will be up for discussion in the North Carolina state capitol building on Wednesday. House Bill 906 will be in discussion by the North Carolina House Energy Committee that could provide a tax credit of 30% for infrastructure of biodiesel, E85, natural gas, propane and electric refueling infrastructure and a $2,000 tax credit for vehicles that operate on natural gas, propane and electricity.
“It is very important for the State to send a signal to fuel and technology providers as well as consumers that North Carolina thinks clean transportation technologies will benefit our economy and our environment. Supporting vehicle and refueling infrastructure tax credits does just that,” said Anne Tazewell, Triangle Clean Cities policy chair and Transportation Program Manager/NC Solar Center/NCSU.
The Federal Government now offers a tax credit for B20, E85, compressed natural gas and propane fueling stations and electric vehicle charging infrastructure equaling 50% of the cost of the refueling equipment. Federal incentives are also available for dedicated compressed natural gas and propane vehicles.
The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest has announced the first of Wisconsin’s E85 highway signs installed along Interstate 90 near Wisconsin Dells. The signs will alert flexible fuel vehicle owners of E85 available along exits.
The American Lung Association in Wisconsin’s highway sign program pays for the production and installation of the signs, plus one year of rent under the state’s Specific Information Sign program. “The blue highway signs do a great job alerting those passing through the area that E85 is available,” explains Jackie Blackburn, clean fuels coordinator for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. “Now, flex fuel vehicle drivers can more easily incorporate E85 into their road trips.”
In 1986, Wisconsin joined the Federal Highway Administration’s SIS program. This program allows for nearly 3,000 miles of the state’s blue “Gas,” “Food,” and “Lodging” signs posted near Interstate and major roadway exits allow travelers to plan their stops based on what retailers are available.
Currently, there are 122 E85 fueling stations in the state of Wisconsin.
South Florida motorists who drive flex fuel vehicles now have at least 12 stations where they can fill up with E85 fuel. The Renewable Fuels Association joined Urbieta Oil in celebrating the grand opening of the nation’s 2000th E85 fueling station this week in Davie, Florida.
This edition of “The Ethanol Report” includes comments from RFA Director of Market Development Robert White, Urbieta Oil president Edwin Flores, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson.
You can listen to “The Ethanol Report” on-line here:
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) celebrated the grand opening of the nation’s 2000th E85 fueling station Thursday in south Florida.
RFA Director of Market Development Robert White says this is a milestone in E85 history. “Being in the Miami metro area promoting E85 shows that this is not a Midwest niche fuel any longer,” White said. “This is a product that can be distributed and sold anywhere in the country and we are able to take E85 where the people and the flex-fuel vehicles are.”
Urbieta Oil owns and operates 12 U-Gas fuel stations in the south Florida area, including the location in Davie which held its grand opening on Thursday. President Edwin Flores says they were the first company to offer E85 in the Miami area in 2007 and they are very committed to renewable fuels. “We think its the right thing to do, not only for our country but for our children’s future,” Flores said. “Fossil fuels are limited and eventually I think we all have to seek alternative fuels.”
Thunderstorms in the area put a little bit of a damper on the grand opening festivities and kept Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson from attending as planned, but in a telephone interview with Domestic Fuel he expressed his pleasure with the progress Florida is making as a leader in renewable fuels. “Florida growers are ready to grow the crops needed for ethanol and biodiesel production,” Bronson said. “We have the capability to produce up to three billion gallons of fuel in the state.”
Increasing the availability of alternative fuels like E85 is part of the Florida Farm to Fuel program, according to Bronson, and having another E85 pump in the state certainly helps. “Gives an opportunity for those with flex-fuel vehicles one more place they can stop in and fill up,” he said.
To celebrate the grand opening, all 12 U Gas locations in south Florida offered E85 for just $1 a gallon between 4 and 6 pm on Thursday.
Filling up with 85 percent ethanol paid off in a big way for an Indiana couple who hit the Hoosier Lotto jackpot this month.
According to Hoosier Lottery officials, Pamela Smith of Summitville won a $2.5 million jackpot in the May 9 Hoosier Lotto drawing after stopping at a Muncie gas station specifically to buy E85.
“I was looking for Ethanol gas,” said Smith. “I actually went inside the gas station to thank the manager for carrying Ethanol because it’s so hard to find. It was an impulse buy for me to purchase one dollar of Lotto and one dollar of Powerball.”
She and her husband Jay opted for a lump sum payment of nearly $1 million dollars and the retailer received a $25,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
InterState Oil Company is now offering E85 at the Pacific Pride station at 917 Cotting Lane in Vacaville, California.
“We want to be environmentally conscious,” said Greg Andrews, vice president of Interstate Oil. “Everyone is concerned about the air. We want to do our part.”
The company has been a family owned and operated business since 1970. It is a leader in promoting the use of alternative fuels in the California and Nevada markets. They offer terminal infrastructure and the ability to handle rail traffic.
Andrews acknowledged that the E85 venture is new for the company, which is curious to see how well the industry will do. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. “We feel there will be a demand and we wanted to align ourselves with what the state is already doing.”
Minnesota state fleet vehicles are using more E85 than ever, according to a new quarterly report from the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee, a group tasked with helping to reduce the state’s use of petroleum fuels in favor of cleaner-burning fuels such as E85 and biodiesel.
In the first quarter of 2009, more than 12 percent of the total fuel used by the state’s light-duty vehicles was E85, an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend. The 150,000 gallons of E85 consumed during the three months represents a 37 percent increase over the same period last year, fleet officials said.
The report comes on the heels of Minnesota’s move to a five percent biodiesel blend (B5) at all diesel retail outlets statewide. That move was widely hailed by environmentalists, farm organizations, the Minnesota Trucking Association, and the American Lung Association in Minnesota.
“It is very gratifying to see real progress in the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce the use of petroleum fuels and to opt for a clean air choice like E85 whenever possible,” said Kelly Marczak, director of the Clean Air Choice program for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. “We estimate that the E85 used to fuel the state’s 2,500 flexible fuel vehicles prevented nearly 600 tons of lifecycle greenhouse gases and other emissions from entering the air. With more than 2,500 flexible fuel vehicles currently in the state fleet, the opportunity to reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions is significant.”
Minnesota has over 360 E85 outlets, more than any other state. A complete list of the retailers and more information on the American Lung Association in Minnesota Clean Air Choice program can be found at www.CleanAirChoice.org.
Tomorrow, Brent Hajek Motorsports will put Bill Elliott behind the wheel of an E85 powered Mustang FR500C Cobra Jet at Talladega Superspeedway in an attempt to break the NASCAR speed record. the current NASCAR top speed record sits at 212.089 mph and was set by Elliott in 1987 at the same track by a Ford Thunderbird.
The Mustang Cobra Jet that will be used to defeat the 22 year old record has already reached 252 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah under direction of Brent Hajek Motorsports.
Racing legend Bill Elliott has built one of the most distinguished records in NASCAR Cup history. Since 1976, Elliott has participated in close to 750 races, achieved 44 wins, collected 55 career poles and amassed winnings of some $73 million. With all of his incredible success, he still remains humble, stating, “We are all motivated by certain things. Of course, winning is one of them, but for me, the fans have always been the biggest motivational factor. I’ve said this over and over-our fans are the backbone of this sport and they are the reason we are able to do what we do.”