The Cost of E85

e-podcastThe price per gallon for an E85 fuel blend is consistently cheaper than gasoline at pumps throughout the U.S. But, critics often say the loss in mileage from using E85 negates any savings consumers get on the gallon. Robert White, the Director of Operations for the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council says the exact opposite. He says the very existence of ethanol in today’s fuel supply means all consumers save money, regardless if they use it or not.

This edition features comments from the E85 educational forum held in Kansas City, KS.

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here (5:30 MP3 File):
[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3?http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/epic-podcast-11-16-07.mp3]

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Fuel Up with E85 For $1.85 in Missouri

MO Corn Growers AssociationConsumers have the chance to fuel up on E85 for $1.85. The ZX snack shop in Kirkwood, Missouri is hosting a grand opening for its first E85 fuel pump. The celebration will begin Thursday, at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 4:00 p.m at 10921 Manchester Rd.

General Motors and the MO Corn Growers Association will be displaying “Live Green Go Yellow” wrapped GM Flex Fuel Vehicles. This station opening marks a first of its kind in the state as it is located within 2 miles of an Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch. Enterprise will be fueling their fleet of Flex Fuel rental cars with E85 at this location from now on. Enterprise will be announcing that the local Kirkwood branch is the first E85/FlexFuel branch in the St. Louis area. Please see the attached releases from Enterprise. Representatives from ZX Snack Shop, JD Street Oil Co., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, St. Louis Clean Cities, General Motors, and the Missouri Corn Growers Association will be on hand to answer questions and help customers fuel their FFVs.

Arming the Military with E85

EPIC educational forum on E85 Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas has a vested interest in E85 and flex-fuel vehicles. The Combined Arms Center will soon have to be operating its fleet of more than 200 vehicles on E85. That’s in compliance with the executive order President Bush signed in January of this year. John Tirpak, Traffic Manager at Ft. Leavenworth, came to the Ethanol and Promotion Information Council’s educational event on E85 in Kansas City to learn how the military facility can fuel up with E85.

You can listen to my interview with John here:

[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/Tirpak_John.mp3]

Branding E85

EPIC Director of Operations Robert White explaining the market for E85 There are a lot of pluses about operating vehicles with a blend of E85 fuel and the Director of Operations with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council mapped out just as many ways to promote consumer use of the renewable fuel. That’s precisely what today’s educational forum at the Holiday Inn in Overland Park was all about: how to boost the marketing landscape for E85 in the Kansas City area. Robert White says the best strategy basically boils down to getting more flex-fuel vehicles out on the road and getting more E85 in their tanks. For Robert, it’s up to the automakers, local fuel retailers and local auto dealerships to make that happen through a united effort to brand ethanol.

I spoke with Robert about some of the many ideas EPIC shares with the ethanol industry nationwide. You can listen to my interview with Robert here:

[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/White_Robert.mp3]

Getting the facts on E85

Ethan Taylor, E85 Coordinator for the Missouri Corn Growers Association talking with EPIC Alternative Blends Coordinator Michelle Gibilisco Missouri can boast 93 E85 filling stations that are either up and running or soon to open. Ethan Taylor, the E85 Coordinator for the Missouri Corn Growers Association says that each E85 filling station pumps about 300 gallons a day. That equates to 27,900 gallons of E85 fuel being sold each day in Missouri, or more than 10 million gallons sold each year. The Show-Me-State certainly has a jump start on the ethanol industry, but there’s obviously room for more growth.

That’s one of the reason’s why the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council sponsored an educational forum in Kansas City today to allow local ethanol industry members, or those interested in becoming involved in the industry, learn more about how they can grow ethanol, and, more specifically, how they can ramp up the production and sale of E85 fuel. During the forum, Ethan stressed that the biggest necessity for industry producers and retailers is to educate consumers on the truth about ethanol. He says much of the public is misinformed about how and when to run their vehicles on E85 fuel blends, how much mileage they’re getting compared to gasoline and how much money they’re spending to get from A to B.

Ethan reminds industry members that virtually any vehicle manufactured since 1980 can use an E10 blend of fuel. He says consumers do need a flex-fuel vehicle in order to use E85 fuel or any other fuel blend greater than 10 percent ethanol. When it comes to energy efficiency, Ethan explains that a gallon of ethanol has an energy content of about 72,000 BTU. When compared to gasoline’s energy content of about 115,000 BTU, that means consumers get about 28 percent less energy from burning E85. Ethan says that equates to about a 10 to 20 percent mileage loss when using E85. But, he says when you factor in the cost of E85 fuel – which typically runs 20 percent lower than the going rate for gasoline – at worst, consumers are spending the same amount of money. At best, they’re saving 10 percent on fuel.

For Ethan, spending the same amount of cash, or less, on a renewable fuel that’s domestically produced, that reduces emissions and that results in cleaner engines is a smart idea.

I spoke with Ethan about the importance of today’s educational forum on E85 and about how the Missouri Corn Growers Association is getting involved in the ethanol industry. You can listen to my interview with Ethan here:

[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/Taylor_Ethan.mp3]

Driving an E85 Market in Kansas City

EPIC forum on E85 fuelThere’s a growing market for E85 fuel blends in Kansas City and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council wants to make sure local producers, ethanol retailers and flex-fuel vehicle car dealers are equipped with the infrastructure, knowledge and marketing tools they need to sell an E85 product. EPIC is sponsoring two educational forums about the high-grade alternative fuel today at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Overland Park. This morning, industry leaders came together to discuss and learn about promoting what EPIC calls “part of the solution for the future.” The forum is also meeting this afternoon.

Green Vision Goes Online

GreenEnergyTV.comAlternative energy enthusiasts looking to see some renewable fuels in action can now access a vast array of demonstrations online. GreenEnergyTV.com describes itself as an Online Television Channel that allows millions of viewers worldwide to get plugged in to what’s going on with alternative energy.

Though having been launched only in January 2007, Green Energy TV now has viewers from 104 countries and 6 continents going to www.greenenergytv.com (Source: Google Analytics as of 10/07).

We know that people can and want to make a difference by showing and sharing with the world what they are doing to be green. We welcome companies, individuals, families, schools, kids, teachers and organizations to Upload & Watch videos on the site. It’s free to Upload & Watch videos. Our viewers can search and view the solutions that address their specific need. Videos are also sought from companies, inventors, colleges and universities with existing or breakthrough green energy technology that is waiting to be discovered and marketed to the world. We are a community and a network that is changing the world through Green Media coverage.

Videos we air include: Solar Energy, Wind Power, Hydro Power, Hydrogen, Fuels, Geothermal, Wave/Tidal Energy, Energy Conservation, Recycling, Hybrid vehicles, Organic, Green Building, Recycling, and more.

Flex Fuel Conversion Kit Receives EPA Certification

Flex Fuel USAn alternative fuel conversion unit has received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency for use on certain types of fleet vehicles.

Flex Fuel U.S. of Chicago reports that its Flex-Box Smart Kit™ fuel conversion system is “the first and only E85 conversion unit has been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fleet vehicles.”

The Flex-Box Smart Kit is mounted to the engine compartment and works by continuously monitoring engine and emission controls, allowing the vehicle to operate on all unleaded gasoline-ethanol blends. At this time Flex-Box Smart Kit has been approved for fleet vehicles made in the year 1995 or after, including the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and the Lincoln Town Car.

E85 to Fuel 2008 Season of the American Le Mans Series

Pumping up with ethanolIt’s not quite official, but the Vice President of Media Communications for the American Le Mans Series says the ALMS will be making an announcement within a week about it’s future with ethanol. Bob Dickinson says ALMS will move to an E85 blend of ethanol fuel for the series’ 2008 season. He says the series’ switch to an E10 blend was a positive move and the ALMS wants to continue to stay on the cutting edge of fuel technology.

You can listen to my interview with Bob here:
[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/Dickinson_Bob.mp3]

2007 Petit Le Mans Photo Album

Shell Sets the Standard for Ethanol Fuel

Sam Sweeney grills American Le Mans Series Driver Peter DumbreckSam’s Mart on 5640 New Northside Drive, NW in Atlanta, GA is among the network of Shell stations within the metropolitan area that uses an E10 blend of fuel in all of it’s fuel grades offered at the pump. Bob Walden is the Manager of Special Projects for Sam’s Mart. He says Shell is a leading player the ethanol industry when it comes offering the fuel to consumers at the pump. For Bob, pump promotions like the one the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council put on today help turn consumers on to “the future of fuel.”

Bob is pictured here with the local Sam’s Mart management team and American Le Mans Series Drivers Tom Milner and Peter Dumbreck. Bob is on the far right. I’m also pictured on the far right just below Bob.

You can listen to my interview with Bob here:
[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/Walden_Bob.mp3]

2007 Petit Le Mans Photo Album