E85 Infrastructure Incentives Announced in Michigan

cecThe Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) has announced that it is offering up to $5,000 to install or upgrade an existing pump to dispense E85 in the state of Michigan. This is one of many of the incentives offered in the state.

“The Clean Energy Coalition is dedicated to increasing the number of E85 pumps in Michigan,” said Sean Reed, CEC executive director. “Through a grant from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DeLEG), we are providing infrastructure incentives for E85.”

In addition to the CEC grant, gas station owners can also apply for federal and state tax credits that significantly reduce the installation and qualified equipment costs. “Stations may be eligible for up to an additional $50,000 to be applied towards installation costs from other state and federal incentives,” said Reed. The federal government is offering a 50 percent tax credit of up to $50,000 and the Michigan Department of Treasury is offering a 30 percent tax credit up to $20,000.

The DeLEG Energy Office is also offering a $1,500 incentive to assist with the cost of designing and installing a highway exit sign that promotes the E85 pump, as well as paying the first year’s annual fee.

mi-cornIn total, the CEC was awarded $145,000 from the DeLEG and $20,000 from the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM) to offer station owners the opportunity to sell E85. “I’m excited to work with the CEC to help bolster Michigan’s ethanol industry and increase the number of E85 pumps available to consumers,” said Pollok-Newsom. “Ethanol reduces our country’s need for foreign oil, supports our rural communities, and helps reduce harmful greenhouse gases.”

For more information or to apply for a grant from the CEC, visit www.cec.mi.org.

E85 Bill Now in Hands of Indiana Governor

ron-altingIndiana Senate lawmakers today approved a bill that would allow schools to receive grants to install E85 dispensing units. House Bill 1193 was sponsored by State Senator Ron Alting (shown right).

“Currently, retailers and local governments can receive grants to invest in E85 pumps and fuel tanks,” Alting said. “This legislation would allow school corporations and universities to also receive grants so they can install E85 fuel tanks on campuses.” Alting said since grants became available last year, more than $135,000 has been provided to various retailers.

Along with a Federal income tax credit for E85 infrastructure, Indiana also offers tax breaks and incentives for those who produce and/or use biofuels. Funding for these grants comes from corn check-off funds and has no cost to Indiana taxpayers.

There are currently 116 E85 fueling locations within the state of Indiana.

Ford to Unveil Tri-Fuel Mondeo

trifuel_mondeoFord plans to unveil a vehicle that is capable of running on gasoline, up to 85 percent ethanol fuel, as well as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The Mondeo will be displayed at the AMI Leipzig Motor Show in Germany starting March 28. The vehicle will be available in a four-door sedan, five-door liftback and in station wagon forms.

According to Ford, when the 2.0-liter Duratec engine uses LPG, the Mondeo Sedan and Liftback models can cover an estimated total of 286 miles. When running on conventional fuel and/or E85, the Mondeo has a range of 529 miles, meaning that the combined range is over 746 miles.

The Ford Mondeo tri-fuel vehicle will be sold in certain European beginning in April.

Navy Exchange Pumped Up on E85

The opening of an E-85 pump on Friday at Oceania Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia received enthusiastic response from the public and the media.

The Virginia-Pilot reported that, “A crowd of Navy officers, energy executives, a congressman and camera-toting media circled the first customer who pulled up to the shiny new pump, Petty Officer 1st Class Lacresha Fears.” The first tankful of E85 was pumped and paid for by NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command) Commander Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi.

Television station WAVY-TV was also on hand to cover the event Friday, as Bianchi participating in a ribbon cutting for the new pump with Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen, Congressman Glenn Nye of Virginia; Capt. Mark Rich, commanding officer of Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana; and Protec Fuel CEO Todd Garner.

“Just as the U.S. Navy is vital to the security of this nation, so too is ethanol in helping this nation become more energy secure,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. “America’s ethanol industry is pleased to partner with the United States Navy to help reduce the demand for imported oil and increase our reliance on homegrown sources of renewable energy. Opening this facility sends a powerful signal that the U.S. Navy is committed to reducing oil dependence by leading by example.”

The pump at Oceana Exchange was made possible by a contract between NEXCOM and Protec Fuel.

Navy Exchange Service Command Opens E85 Station

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), headquarters for the Navy’s worldwide Navy Exchange stores, held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for Hampton Roads’ first E85 pump. The station is located at the Navy Exchange Gas Station, NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach.

NEXRear Adm. Robert Bianchi, Commander, NEXCOM, and Captain Markham Rich, Commanding Officer, NAS Oceana hosted the ceremony with principal guests and speakers Congressman Glenn Nye, D-VA 2nd District and Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association.

NEXCOM awarded a public private venture (PPV) contract in April 2008 to Protec Fuels for the infrastructure development and supply of the E85. NEX Oceana is the first location developed under this contract.

With this grand opening, there will be three public access E85 stations in Virginia. The Navy Exchange Oceana facility will be the second public access E85 fuel facility in Virginia operated by the U.S. Navy/NEX.

The Navy is a leader in the use of alternative fuels, including ethanol and biodiesel, and operates the largest fleet of vehicles using alternative fuels in the state of Virginia. This venture will provide the needed access to E85 fuel for the Navy’s fleet of flex-fuel vehicles as well as to the general public.

Southeast Missouri State University Goes Green

semo-logoSoutheast Missouri State University (SEMO), in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, will be saving money as well as doing its part to save the environment. Facilities management have devised a recycling and waste management plan and will also purchase flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).

According to The Arrow, SEMO will use the oil that dining hall kitchens would normally dispose of to heat the facilities management shops. The recycling program will be boosted by adding more bins around campus. And, over spring break, facilities management plans to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles that will use E85, rather than gasoline.

“We plan on purchasing two vehicles from Tiger Trucks,” Terry Major, manager of grounds, custodial, fleet and support services, said. “We want a pick-up truck for the grounds and a van for maintenance.” The University had purchased electric cars in the past but they were proven more of a hassle than a convenience.

Currently, there are no E85 fueling locations in the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Honda Hits the Road with Flex-Fuel Bike

Honda has introduced the world’s first flex-fuel motorcycle. No surprise, the CG150 Titan Mix, is being sold by a subsidiary of Honda in Brazil, a country that really leads the world in biofuels production.

hondatitanmixThis article from Gizmag.com has details:

The 150cc motorcycle is equipped with a Mix Fuel Injection System, a newly developed fuel supply and fuel injection control system that enables consumers to use a flexible mixture of environmentally-responsible bio-ethanol and gasoline fuels, hence reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.

In Brazil, penetration of flexible-fuel technology is well advanced, and approximately 90% of new automobiles sold there are equipped with flexible-fuel technology. As the first flex-fuel motorcycle, the BRL 6,340 real (USD$2700) CG150 TITAN MIX looks certain to grab a hug chunk of the market, and Honda expects to sell in excess of 200,000 units a year – approximately 10% of the market – in the first year. In 2008, Honda sold approximately 1.326 million motorcycles in a market with 1.91 million units.

Blend Labels Now Available Through the NEVC

NEVC E40Many fuel retailers have begun offering blends between 10 percent and 85 percent ethanol for flexible fuel vehicles. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) now has available E20, E30 and E40 labels for retailers to use for their blending pumps.

NEVC E40These labels are offered at a member rate and non-member rate. The coalition also offers the mandatory pump labeling for these blends. Besides blend pump labels, the NEVC offers a complete “pump imaging package” for E85 fueling stations. A listing of all items offered for pump labeling can be found by clicking here.

NEVC Attends Commodity Classic

commodclassic_nevcboothThe National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) attended the 2009 Commodity Classic last week in Grapevine, Texas. The group has attended the event for more than ten years promoting E85 and flexible fuel vehicles. This was my tenth Commodity Classic attendance on behalf of the NEVC.

Phil Lampert, my Executive Director, NEVC Membership Director Haley Wansing and I met with many of the state corn grower groups to inform them of our successes and what our outlined plans are for the future. NEVC Vice-Chairman and Ohio Corn Growers Executive Director Dwayne Siekman said, “The Commodity Classic is an important time for policy development for the Ohio Corn Growers Association and we often confer with partnering organizations for background information. Without groups like the NEVC and their knowledge on higher ethanol blends and updates on certification of dispensing equipment, the policy development process may not be complete.”

commodclassic_nevcbooth2As part of the NEVC staff, I was pleased to see such an intense interest from every state on ethanol policy. Our group appreciates the support of the National Corn Growers Association and each of our fourteen corn grower state organizations.

The NEVC also sponsored a booth in the Commodity Classic’s exhibition hall. Displayed were two flexible fuel vehicles: a 2009 FFV King Ranch F-150 and a 2008 FFV GM Silverado (provided by CleanFUEL USA). I believe the attendees enjoyed seeing the FFV options that Ford and GM have available for use on their farms.

IL Corn to Sponsor Clean Snowmobile Team

sae-clean-snowmobileThe 2009 Northern Illinois University (NIU) Clean Snowmobile Team will be competing in the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge. The team will be sponsored by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB). This year’s competition’s theme will be “Flex Fuel” and NIU’s snowmobile will run on ethanol.

SnowmobileThe annual SAE Challenge began in 2000 and tests the engineering and design capabilities of students from schools across the country. The “challenge” of each competition has been for students to modify a stock snowmobile to meet a series of requirements, including air pollution levels.

NIU ran their snowmobile last year on E85, and won 6th place overall and rookie of the year. This year’s competition will be held March 16-21 at Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan.