Twenty-nine E85 fueling stations will open in the Sacramento, California area by May 2009, thanks to a grant by the California Air Resource Board. The Sacramento air district received $3.5 million to assist in opening these facilities.
“There are not a tremendous amount of vehicles that can handle E85,” said Walt Dwelle, managing general partner of Nella Oil Co. who plans on adding E85 to his stations in North Highlands and Newcastle. “If there’s not a lot of demand, you don’t want to spend that kind of money and have just a few gallons going through.” There are about 388,000 registered FFVs in the state of California.
Pearson Fuels Inc. in San Diego opened the first E85 fueling station in the state in 2003. They also sell the alternative fuel in Concord, Hayward, Carlsbad, and Oceanside and plans to add additional facilities in the near future.
“The market for E85 depends on the price of gasoline,” said Michael Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels. “In June at our station down in San Diego, we were selling 1,000 gallons per day or better. But it was $1 per gallon less than gasoline.”
There are currently 13 E85 stations within the state of California.