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GM Collaborates with Abengoa Bioenergy And Kroger Stores To Bring More E85 Stations to Texas

General Motors announced plans to add E85 fuel pumps to approximately 20 Kroger fueling sites throughout the Houston and Dallas area through a collaborative partnership with the retailer and Abengoa Bioenergy.

The collaboration is part of a broader, ongoing national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the United States. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

As part of the partnership, GM will promote the availability of the fuel with consumer and dealer outreach. The partnership is similar to those GM entered into with VeraSun Energy last May in the Sioux Falls area and more recently in the Chicago and Minneapolis areas, as well as earlier this year in California with Chevron Technology Ventures and Pacific Ethanol. (Earlier post.)

Abengoa Bioenergy will be the principal supplier of E85 ethanol fuel to Kroger retail outlets in Dallas and Houston. Kroger plans to begin introducing the alternative fuel at selected pumps in May of this year.

GM also announced that it would extend its partnership with the Governors Ethanol Coalition (GEC)—a bipartisan group of governors devoted to the promotion and increased use of ethanol—to provide new E85-capable vehicles for use in GEC member states.

Last year, GM loaned E85 flex-fuel vehicles to Texas and 27 other states and organizations in order to demonstrate its commitment to ethanol, educate the public and promote the benefits of using E85.

GM’s Arlington plant is one of its largest producers of E85 flexible fuel vehicles and Texas has the highest number of GM alternative fuel vehicles in the country, with more than 258,743 E85 vehicles on the road today. The state of Texas currently has 300 GM flexible fuel vehicles in its fleet, with plans to add several hundred more later this year.



E85 FFVs have been for sale in the US since the mid 90s, right?

so why all the hubbub now, ten years later?

Rafael Seidl

Shaun -

Midwestern congressmen managed to sneak a provision into CAFE a decade or so ago that permitted carmakers to claim a fuel economy bonus for vehicles that were E85-ready. They eagerly used this to keep building gas guzzlers without falling foul of CAFE.

Now that there is a sizeable fleet of E85-ready vehicles on the road and, ethanol is perceived a national energy security priority, there is a push to actually set up a distribution infrastructure for E85. This has a lot to do with the fact that US politics tends to be a patchwork of initiatives rather than the execution of any coherent strategy (regardless of party).

Of course, GM in particular has been eager to jump on the bandwagon to greenwash its essentially failed product strategy. It needs all the "free" publicity it can get.

The main problem right now is that domestic ethanol supplies are tight because MTBE is no longer being used as an oxygenate for regular gasoline. The EPA decided the carcinogenic risk was too great and refiners don't want to be saddled with the legal liabilities (cp. asbestos). Ethanol is the only alternative available in sufficient quantities. Imports are still penalized by a steep tariff, but in an election year I suspect Congress will figure out a way to waive it for any quantity the domestic producers cannot deliver (and no more).

In Europe, biogeneic components are blended into regular fuels, which is possible without risk to the vehicles on the road as long as the blending fraction is low enough (<5-10%). This avoids/postpones the need to set up a distribution infrastructure for a new fuel grade in 25 countries.


I think GM hopes to get one more year out of large SUVs, with ethanol. But they can't possibly hope for more than that can they? How long do you think it will take people to figure out that their costs per mile in an E85 SUV don't look that good?


I still think this is something that we should take GM up on.
Brazil has managed to become self sufficient using ethanol, and
Ford and GM (and I assume, Chrysler) already have models that
are e85 ready.
My understanding is that E85 has higher octane rating than
regular gas, and that this might be a selling point.
With the continued rise in oil prices, and the impending entry
of major corporations into ethanol production, this may be
a possible seque to multifuel gas stations, and expand the
options for transition to the next transportation standard.


Hey Kroger/GM Dayton, how about getting a few E-85 stations here in Dayton, Ohio. And GM how about putting flex-fuel engines in your Moraine/Dayton, Ohio built vehicles? Seems you're missing a good bet here!! Like all of southwestern Ohio, and eastern Indiana! Are you selling vehicles or what?? Whose profits are you building? Yours or Big Oil?
Dayton, Ohio.


The hubbub is that while the vehicles have been available (I have one, a 2000 Ford Ranger), the stations haven't-- at least not anywhere near Fort Worth, TX. I'm ecstatic to finally get the chance to buy E85! Way to go, Kroger, GM and Abengoa!


The fact that automobile manufacturers have paid no attention to fuel for their cars for so long surprises me.

They pay all kinds of attention to just in time inventory and little or no attention to the prime ingredient in using their products...fuel.

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