Dubai Rescue for Yukos?
DaimlerChrylser Re-Girds for China Push

GM E85 Promotion

GM is co-sponsoring a promo for E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gas) in Duluth, Minnesota.

From August 10-12, drivers of flexible fuel vehicles (FFV, which can burn either gasoline or the E85 mix) can fill up their tanks all day for 85 cents a gallon at two specified ethanol fueling stations. Minnesota has the nation’s most extensive E85 infrastructure, with 100 fueling outlets throughout the state.

Since 1997, nearly all Minnesota gasoline has been blended with up to 10 percent ethanol. Fourteen percent of Minnesota’s corn crop—140 million bushels—is made into ethanol and livestock feed annually. The state’s 14 ethanol production plants can produce more than 350 million gallons each year.

GM produces a third of the more than 3 million FFVs on American roads. All 2002 and newer Chevrolet and GMC full-size SUVs equipped with the Vortec 5300 engine are E85-capable, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Specially equipped Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra full-size pickups also are available with E85 capability.

“E85 is only beginning to become more widely available, and we’re pleased to be able to provide consumers with an incentive to try this homegrown alternative fuel and take advantage of the benefits,” said Gary Herwick, director of alternative fuels for General Motors. “We want to educate and encourage industry and consumers to use E85 in their GM flexible fuel vehicles whenever possible.”

This is cute, but it is incredibly localized. There are an estimated 100,000 FFVs in Minnesota—3% of the total. How about a national campaign? Where are the other 2,900,000 FFVs? GM and others have an opportunity not only to do some green positioning viz a viz Toyota, but also to help make an immediate difference.

As I noted in an earlier post, a FFV is NOT if there isn’t a fueling infrastructure. How about whipping up some market awareness and enthusiasm that would lead to an increase in commercial ethanol fueling stations?

GM’s partners in the E85 promo are the Minnesota chapter of the American Lung Association and the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) in conjunction with the American Coalition for Ethanol Trade Show and Annual Conference.


Sara Cheely

Where can we find E85 outlets around Champaign or Tuscola Illinois?


The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition maintains a searchable database of E85 stations here.

It may not be entirely up-to-date, but it and they are good starting points.

The comments to this entry are closed.