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E85 Stations Hit the 1,000 Mark

6 October 2006

E85sta
E85 stations in the US. Click to enlarge.

There are now 1,000 publicly and privately accessed E85 fueling locations throughout the United States according to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC). That number represents about 0.6% of the number of gasoline fueling stations in the US (170,000).

In October 2005, the E85 outlet count was 438—the number has more than doubled in 12 months. A Cenex site in Bemidji, Minnesota, became the one-thousandth facility today.

Frankly, we have had so many stations opening lately that determining which is the 1,000th E85 outlet in the United States is a challenge. It is terrific to recognize Bemidji, but it might have just as easily been a Holiday in St. Louis Park or a Kwik Trip in Rochester or a Spur in Duluth. All are important and none more so than the next. In Minnesota, many flex-fuel vehicle owners now have a station near where they live or work, and that’s really boosting sales.

—Tim Gerlach of the Minnesota E85 Team

Minnesota is the E85 leader in the US, with more than 300 E85 outlets in the state. Minnesota drivers are also the nation’s leading users of E85, buying an estimated 2.3 million gallons in August 2006 and expected to buy 20 million gallons by the end of the year. The Minnesota E85 Team is a public/private partnership that promotes E85 use in the state.

The current national breakdown is 946 publicly accessed and 56 private fleet accessed locations, covering thirty-nine states. Arkansas and Massachusetts just recently added their first E85 facility to each of their states.

From a very humble beginning of a few stations in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa, achieving this level of stations is significant. While 1,000 stations is only a drop in the so called “fueling station bucket”, recent progress has been incredible.

—Phil Lampert, Executive Director of the NEVC

The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition posts the most complete and up-to-date listing of E85 refueling locations.

October 6, 2006 in Ethanol | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

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Frankly, we have had so many stations opening lately that determining which is the 1,000th E85 outlet in the United States is a challenge
you're kidding, right? i can see that argument being made for determining who is the 6 billionth person to be born on the planet, but the 1000th e85 station in the us? come on.

Forget E85 - it's a waste of time except in the farm belt. I'd rather see a law that mandates E2 at every single pump than E85 at 1,000 pumps

it's a waste of time except in the farm belt

... a place with 10s of millions of people and a collective economy greater than most nations on the planet.

Replace the "E" with a "B" (butanol) and use the B85 to fuel PHEVs and then we're getting somewhere.

i live in indiana and it really has become a big deal. Farmers are looking at this as a second chance to really make something for themselves. I think it's a good deal to a point. I'd hate to see groups of farmers becoming oil baron eqivalents. Some of these farmers have been pissed off for a long time.

Don't write off ethanol or ethanol blends. Despite the fuel's flaws, it's something we have to consider if we are get off foreign oil. If we are properly to exploit the higher octane levels of E100/E85, we'll have to supplement their power with a li-ion battery and/or using turbocharged DI.

Hunderds of Billions of dollars of farm subsidies have been paid by US and EU governments so far. Why? Because food producer prices are too low. Because with those low prices farmers cannot survive. Sugar is trading 80% below its high, and corn and wheat 60% below their peak prices. And that's without adjusting for inflation. Do that, and they're are trading at around 5% of their peak prices. within the last 25 years farmers around the world had to live with a disastrous market.
Also the current account deficit of the US, which adds each year 100 Bio. $ is a point to reduce importing oil and produce home grown fuel.

Nina -

it's not that producer prices would fall too far without subsidies, it's that agricultural technology has advanced to a point where we simply don't need nearly as many farmers or fishermen any longer. This is especially true in Europe but to a lesser extent in the US as well.

In purely technical terms, the most intelligent ways to wean ourselves off foreign oil and reduce GHG emissions into the bargain are:

(a) discourage wasteful fuel use by taxing it more heavily or, by enacting minimum fuel economy requirements in addition to fleet average levels.

(b) require refineries to blend in low fractions of suitable renewable compounds into all regular gasoline and diesel. This eliminates the need for new fuel grades and the advertising for them. It also prevents consumers from opting out of an effort with significant but diffuse benefits.

(c) encourage the development and adoption of technology for processing household, agricultural and forestry waste into attractive blending compounds such as FAME (biodiesel), butanol and synthetic (iso-)paraffins. Ethanol is useful as a high-octane oxygenate but less well suited as a primary fuel. DME (dimethylester, derived from methanol) is a useful fuel for city buses and stationary diesel generators.

(d) encourage the development and adoption of technology that reduces net CO2 emissions by power stations. One option among many is the aguaculture of oil or starch algae based on suitably prepared flue gases from facilities burning coal or natural gas.

Don't overlook the great petroleum inputs used to produce ethanol, the CO2 emissions of ethanol factories & the water and petrochemical/pesticide usage in growing corn. Conservation & PHEV development in conjunction with cleaner electrical production significantly dwarfs any "green" accolades erroneously assigned to E85.

I think a lot of people would agree that cellulose would be better than corn. I would say that gasification is better than fermentaion. But one thing I hope we could all agree on is that we will need everything...ethanol and everything else we can think of, to reduce oil imports. The sooner we get on with making this happen, the better.

We use 140 billion gallons of gas a year. Just 10% ethanol in our gas as an oxygenator is 14 billon gallons about three times what is currently being prodouced.this would help the farmer and no need to
change to cars or filling stations

In response to lensovet's disbelief that it could be difficult to identify the nation's 1,000th E85 outlet, consider this. Every week, a number of new E85 outlets opening up nationwide -- almost all are privately owned and operated, there is no "national registry" of E85 stations, no single agency or organization has sole responsibility for the nation's E85 outlets (although NEVC tries it's best to fill this role). Even in Minnesota, with the country's most organized and largest E85 outlet network, it is hard to keep track of the handful of MN stations that stop selling E85 or close and many more that start selling E85. So it really is a little tougher than you might think.

What about the New York metro area? It is one of the biggest potential markets, yet it has absolutely no publica access ethanol pumps.

This is a good thing. It is my understanding that ethanol is a "transitional" fuel. Corn is used because we have this as an existing commodity and will help create the necessary infrastructure. As the demand increases, farmers will switch to swithgrass for a greater cellulose energy yield per acre. It would seem that a plug in flex fuel vehicle with flexible solar panel strips on the roof and a tiny windmill attached would be the answer until the brainiacs figure out hydrogen.

What is the price of the E85 at these retail outlets? I understand the wholesale price for ethanol is higher than that of gasoline, and it's hard for me to imagine people paying more for a fuel that only takes you 85% as far per gallon as gasoline. What are these people paying for ethanol at the pump?

Just a guess, but I would say ethanol is over $2 per gallon wholesale. So, E85 would be over $3 per gallon retail, even if you had enough ethanol, which we do not nationwide. I would say E85 may become big in the midwest, where they do not have to transport large quantities long distances.

Just a guess, but I would say ethanol is over $2 per gallon wholesale.

Then how come it's selling for $1.70 or so retail at the moment down the block?

Down the block is not a good estimate of the wholesale price over the past year, nor a good projection of the average price over the coming year. Try going down your block and buying a gallon at that price everyday for the next year. The price varies quite a bit.

Here is the "rack" or wholesale truck price for ethanol...not far off for a guess: (averages to $1.9476)

Date: Friday, October 13, 2006
Iowa: 1.8512
Illinois: 1.9208
Kansas: 2.0245
Michigan: 2.2000
Minnesota: 1.9055
Missouri: 1.9833
North Dakota: 1.8141
Nebraska: 1.9486
South Dakota: 1.8900
Wisconsin: 1.9472

Seems 46 % of gas sold in US has E10. Fast progress. If they cut the duty on Brazilian Ethanol, it will grow faster.

285 to 1000 in < 20 months is an awesome progress.
Finally money goes to pockets of farmers and consumers.

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