Toyota Aims for 10M Units in 2010, Displacing GM as #1 Globally
Petroleum Refiner and Agribusiness Firm Team to Build Largest Ethanol Plant in Southeastern US

GM Promotion: $1K Fuel Card with Flex-Fuel Vehicles

GM will offer a $1,000 fuel card with the purchase of any new 2006 or 2007 Chevrolet and GMC vehicles equipped with FlexFuel technology in the Chicago-Rockford and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets between 2 May and 31 July, 2006.

The promotion applies to the purchase of the new FlexFuel GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, and Avalanche full-size SUVs; the FlexFuel Sierra and Silverado full-size pickups; and the FlexFuel Impala and Monte Carlo sedans.

The card offers customers the choice of purchasing E85 ethanol or gasoline at participating retail chains including Gas City and Road Ranger in the Chicago-Rockford market and the Holiday Station Stores, Kwik Trip, Cenex and Freedom locations in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Customers will be able to use the card for one year after the initial issue date or until the $1,000 limit is reached.

The E85 fuel card promotion will be available at more than 130 GMC and Chevrolet dealerships in Chicago-Rockford, and 88 dealerships in Minneapolis-St.Paul.

By offering an E85 fuel card with GM’s industry-leading number of flexible-fuel vehicles, we are providing our customers with the choice to operate their vehicles on a fuel that burns cleaner, supports the domestic agriculture industry and reduces our nation’s dependence on petroleum.

—Elizabeth Lowery, GM VP of environment and energy

Based a fuel price of $ 2.91 per gallon of gasoline and $2.41 per gallon of E85 (current estimates from the DOE), the $1,000 card would provide about 5,400 miles of driving on E85 in a Tahoe, and about 5,800 miles of driving on gasoline. (The Tahoe is rated at 13 mpg on E85, 17 mpg on gasoline.)


Bud Johns

Gimmicks. How sad.


Encouraging people to do the wrong thing, too.

Perhaps states should tax all promotions (including discounted interest) on gas-guzzling vehicles.  A 100% tax seems appropriate.


If they were offering a general rebate of $1,000 (which is rather low compared to last year), it would be equivalent to the $1k so called fuel card. So, they are counting on the suckers to think they are getting free gas. And what will they do when the fuel card runs out?

Apparently, GM thought that last fall's surge in gas prices was a one time phenomenon. Same goes for those who recently bought all those newly introduced monster SUVs. Ethanol or not, there is no free lunch.

The President needs to stand up and say something along the lines of fool me once, etc and tell people, "You have been warned, high gas prices are and will continue to be a fact of American life. Get used to it. If you choose to buy a gas guzzler, don't expect us to bail you out."


He could probably say it but any indication from government that we are running out of oil would send economy into recession. At least that's what they think.
That's why that gov. agency (sorry I forgot a name, but it was mentioned on this site) predicts that oil prices would fall in a fall even though there is no spare capacity and there are so many things that might and will go wrong with supply side (hurricanes, rebellions etc).

Prius for me

News flash:
Elizabeth Lowery, GM VP of environment and energy demoted to VP of marketing, given a $1k fuel card, for her efforts.

It's blasphemy that vehicles named Sierra, Tahoe and Yukon so significantly depreciate the ecosystem of their namesakes!

13 mpg on E85??? Ethanol has no clothes. Hey GM, Bet 1K ya wont sell me another Saab turbodiesel.


The Yukon has a 26 gallon fuel capacity. That's over $75 per tank. At 13 MPG, that's 338 miles. The rebate will buy just over 13 tanks of gas, which will take the poor owner of said vehicle just over 4000 miles. So for at least 96% of the vehicle's life, the owner will be on their own. They'll be facing even higher prices to tool around in a monstrosity that should be called the 'greenhouse gas machine.'

Total fuel cost for the life of the vehicle @ $3.00/gallon: $22,758. Prices will almost certainly go higher. A person could wind up spending more on fuel than they did on the vehicle itself.

If externalities were considered, (estimated by some to be $5 to $15/gallon) this boondoggle could cost society $50-100 thousand.

Buying it because of a 1K rebate check? Are people insane?

gerald earl

If they are buying these vehicles they dont need the one thousand but they will take it.It is good marketing by GM.Many people who want these vehicles can assuage their guilt by buying the E85.Some buyers may be primarily concerned about dependence on hostiles for fuel.Having eighty five percent of their fuel produced in the U.S. would be a powerful draw to them.Getting people in the habit of buying domestic fuel seems like a good idea to me.
If a small percentage of people feel the need to drive them then its better to drive on a cleaner domestic fuel.
Beware of unintended consequences when using taxes to punish people or affect behaviour.President Clinton decided to tax the rich with a luxury tax on yachts.The American yacht builders lost their jobs.He removed the tax because the middle class craftsmen were the ones getting screwed.
As for the falling prices,the largest Shell oil platform in the gulf is just getting ready to go online.Many assets damaged in Katrina are just returning or will be returning this summer.These and other considerations will exert downward pressure on prices.Geopolitics and natural disasters are still the wildcards on where prices end up.

Adrian Akau

This type of pathetic offer is an insult to the intelligence. GM should concentrate on producing a vehicle based upon value. Low mpg vehicles do not have much value today and will have less value in the future as gasoline goes up to $4 and $5 per gallon. I already pay $3.47 for regular where I live and next week, the cost is supposed to increase.

I would suggest that GM re-evaluate what it is doing. Rebates from our government and from GM are nothing more than chum thrown out into the water to draw in fish. If GM had a good product, there would not be any need for this type of offer but the fact remains that GM is not meeting fuel mpg requirments the public needs. Therefore, it does not have a product the public needs.

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Prius for me

"Many assets damaged in Katrina are just returning or will be returning this summer.These and other considerations will exert downward pressure on prices"

PS: The 2006-7 hurricane season is nearly upon us. E85 is a midwest farmer's pipe dream.


"Many assets damaged in Katrina are just returning or will be returning this summer. These and other considerations will exert downward pressure on prices"

There are plenty of wildcards that could impact oil prices, but most of them are on the upside (Nigeria, Iran, Chad, Russia, and oh yes, depletion). However, gas prices may very well come down as ethanol supplies finally catch up enough to replace MBTE -- probably just in time for the elections so politicians can say that their jawboning brought down prices. That won't help the SUV buyer long, though, unless they plan to sell the vehicle the first year.


$1000. where do i find the fuel in Georgia?? lol


The $1k should only be for E85.

Flex fuel vehicles will be great when decent production methods are put into place. Till then it's just a subsidy for rich farmers.


Anyone buying suvs right now will not have any problem affording the fuel.

I know people who think of 75 even 100 bucks as being cheap. They make 150-250k a year and yes own an ugly ass suv. But then they also have a monsterous rv that makes an suv look like a minicar.

gerald earl

Prius;the hurricane season to which you refer is part of what I had in mind when I mentioned natural disasters as a wild card.Jmartin;the nations you list are what I had in mind when I mentioned mention of wildcards was intended to refer to things that could return to higher prices.Perhaps I should have started a new paragraph to indicate that the wild card statement was in contrast to the downward pressure statement.I apologize for the sloppy sentence structure,I havent been writing much since the eighties.{Im old}

John Ard

My girlfriend's father ran straight alcohol in his muscle cars in the 1970's. He made it himself and the only mod he had to do was to install larger jets in his carburetor. He didn't care about fuel mileage since the stuff was made from kitchen scraps (mostly potatoes and bread).

My point is that if we really want to be serious about ethanol outside of the major cities, someone needs to appeal to the rednecks (a title I proudly wear) and offer pre-made stills and kits to optimize a car for ethanol (chips, carburetors, cams, valves, etc.). I don't see why my 2 acre lot and my kitchen scraps couldn't produce enough feedstock on their own to power a vehicle.


While everyone here is complaining about GM vehicles, step back and really take a look. Tahoe and Suburban lead their class in fuel economy. Say what you will, the people that buy the bigger SUV's probably need the size for their life style. Families, sporting events, moving live stock, large trailers etc. As ethonol becomes more commonly used (Brazil is almost 100% ethanol ecomony) price of ethanol will come down, we will be supporting our farmers and becoming less dependent on foreign oil. Oh Yeah, GM also has many vehicles that exceed 30mpg available for those that are concerned about fuel prices. Myself, I would like to not be dependent on foreign oil, and my FF Tahoe gets about 80 mpg of gasoline, the rest is thanks to the farmers in the MidWest. By the way ask a fireman how he likes opening a Hybrid vehicle when electricity is coursing through a wrecked Toyota and what are you going to do with the batteries when they go bad?


Those pooer firemen who can't read 'danger, electricity'.


Does anyone here realize who the largest purchaser of raw ethanol is before it is blended into e85? It is the same major petroleum companies who sell you their high priced gasoline. Last year of the 4 billion gallons of ethanol that were produced, 3 billion gallons of it was purchased by these same major petroleum companies.

Ok lets get real here if you had a strangle hold on a market and you saw that a cheaper substitution for your product was coming online to compete with you, wouldn't you try to buy them up or out before it happened so you could once again control the market? That my friend is what has happened here. We are only getting the half of the story that these major petroleum companies want us to get. I suggest that we do our full research before we put ethanol down.

Plus there are new production methods under development right now that will lower the cost of ethanol again; I am referring to the switchgrass production. Switchgrass or Cellulosic ethanol has the potential to out produce sugar cane in the amount of ethanol produced per ton of crops used. If we look at all of the information correctly it should be easy to see that ethanol should be cheaper than gasoline. But we are at the mercy of the major petroleum companies that control their liquid gold around the world.


So, I have to travel 50 miles for a station that will honor my card???

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