Moving beyond ten percent ethanol offers both opportunities and challenges for the industry.
On a panel addressing the issue at the 2008 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Tuesday was Robert White with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). White has spearheaded the nationwide pump branding and E85 program for EPIC and he talked about some of the success stories they have seen just recently.
“An E85 station recently opened in metro Atlanta,” said White. “The station has been opened about five weeks and as of Saturday they were selling 1800 gallons of E85 a day, compared to 1750 gallons of regular unleaded a day.”
EPIC helped to open the station, made sure it was branded, held a pump promotion and grand opening event with state officials, and send notifications out to fleets in the area. “One station that has been opened five weeks has the potential of selling 650,000 gallons of E85 a year,” White said. “That’s amazing.”
He also talked about the importance of moving toward blender pumps, which can offer a variety of blends between 10 and 85 percent ethanol. “Our recent research found that 45 percent of Americans are seeking out alternatives, they want choices, and specifically they’re looking for ethanol,” said White.
He noted that E85 and mid-level blends give consumers choices, help retail fuel stations offer customers something new, and help ethanol plants sell more product.
Listen to Robert’s address to the 2008 FEW here: