AE Biofuels, Inc., a global vertically integrated biofuels company, and Pearson Fuels, an alternative fuels provider, have been awarded $6.9 million by the US Department of Energy to build 55 E85 fueling facilities in the state of California. The alternative fueling sites will be built within the next 42 months.
The Southern California Association of Governments applied for the money through their Clean Cities Coalition, The Partnership. Since 1994, The Partnership has been facilitating the creation of public/private business relationships and endeavors that serve to accelerate the deployment and market acceptance of Advanced Transportation Technologies throughout Southern California. In addition, The Partnership has received preliminary approval for a $4 million from the California Energy Commission, through its AB-118 matching grant program.
Mike Lewis of Pearson Fuels said, “I am excited to see that we are now in a stronger position to bring alternative fuel infrastructure to the hundreds of thousands of flexible fuel vehicles already on the California roads while measurably reducing the State`s dependence on foreign oil imports.” Pearson Fuels already has 13 E85 stations within California. He claims that construction of the projects should begin by the end of 2009.
The USDOE estimates that the initiative will help displace approximately 3.5 million gallons of petroleum annually.
“We are excited about the grant award, and we look forward to working with Pearson Fuels to bring our next-generation cellulosic ethanol to consumers,” said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of AE Biofuels. “California has over 300,000 flexible fuel vehicles already on the road today, but only a handful of E85 pumps at the state`s 9,000 stations. This grant will allow us to bring cellulosic E85 fuel to drivers around the state and meet the demand for carbon reducing fuels.”