GM Developing Global Advanced Biofuels Program
UK Government Invests £100M in £200M Low Carbon Vehicle Program

Number of US E85 Pumps Passes 1,800 Mark

The number of E85 stations in the US has now exceeded 1,800, according to The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC). There are currently 1,802 private and public refueling stations across the US—a 28% growth since October 2007.

E85 pump growth. Click to enlarge. Source: NEVC

Currently, the states with the highest number of E85 sites are: Minnesota with 357, Illinois with 188 and Missouri with 112. Unfortunately, seven states do not offer E85 including: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Alaska and Hawaii.

The public can fuel at 1,693 of the 1,802 stations nationwide. A listing of E85 sites can be found at

Currently, E85 fuel is averaging $2.68/gallon nationwide, compared to the average unleaded price of $3.27—an 18% price spread. E85 has between 23-28% less energy per gallon than gasoline, according to the US Department of Energy.

The ethanol content of E85 is usually lower than 85% for two reasons: 1) fuel ethanol contains 2-5% gasoline as a denaturant and 2) fuel ethanol content is lowered to 70% in the winter in cold climates to facilitate cold starts. When the actual composition of E85 is accounted for, the lower heating value of E85 varies from 82,970 Btu/gal to 89,650 Btu/gal, which is 72% to 77% the heat content of gasoline.



No thanks to oilman Bush. When he came to office in 2001, there were 50 E85 stations nationwide. Now there are 1,850. If the next guy follows this path we might see a doubling of that number for each of the next four years.

Nate H.

But why would we want to see more of these pumps? At such a horrid energy content, I think the last thing we need is 8mpg E85 Suburbans, or even 12mpg E85 Crown Vic's. How about some 60mpg Avg. Gasoline Hybrids? How about some 65mpg Clean Diesels? Heaven forbid, a plug in hybrid actually appear that gets 80mpg equivalent on regular unleaded.

I dont think putting food in our gastank is the cure to our oil issues.

Nate H., Dover, Ohio


Please, STOP THE MADNESS! Why would anyone want to spread more ethanol? If it's from food crops, it's bad, bad and bad. If it's from non food crops then why not produce butanol instead?

Butanol has nearly the same energy content as gasoline, can literally be used in the same pipelines and distribution system as gasoline, does not require ANY changes to your car, can be blended in ANY amount with gasoline or even run 100% with no changes and is from any source that can produce ethanol???

If you're a farmer supporting ethanol, then just produce the butanol instead....and STOP wasting food crops on any of it!

How can this possibly make sense to produce more ethanol from ANY source? Please stop this folks.


Why is it that everything bad that happens is the fault of Bush, but everything positive is 'no thanks to Bush'. I am no fan of Bush (he's conservative and statist, as a comparison to Obama being liberal and statist), but really? Katrina was somehow caused by bush, and the Energy Act of 2005 has nothing to do with the rise in e85 fueling stations?

Will S

The deck chairs continue to be rearranged on the Titanic...


Lots of parroting of the "no food for fuel" lines and the "rising cost of food" complaints. I've never seen data to support it.

The reality is that corn isn't food for people. A small percentage of corn becomes breakfast cereal and tortilla chips. The rest -- food for cattle.

If you're worried about energy efficiency or food stream efficiency -- not to mention America's health care costs problem -- simply reduce your consumption of meat. Plenty of corn going on to feed cattle could be used to feed people instead, at a far more efficient rate. The problem is not using corn for fuel -- it's using corn for cattle feed.

In fact, it's more likely that the rising costs of food are directly attributable to the rising cost of fertilizer and shipping food to market (yes, oil) and not the extra demand on corn rippling through.

Is corn ethanol a silver bullet endgame? Nope. But, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels is good, ethanol is net energy positive [barely], and grown in America. If it helps us get ethanol stations up and running, so they're ready when we transition from corn-based ethanol to ethanol created in other ways, then it will have served a great purpose.

Will S

> The problem is not using corn for fuel -- it's using corn for cattle feed.

Both are issues of over-consumption, IMO.

> ethanol is net energy positive [barely]

Which means we barely get anything positive out of the expenditure of high levels of fossil fuels consumed during the growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, distribution process. Not much of an argument for it, quite frankly.


stomv- well said

Will S- agriculture is a 'perfectly competitive' industry, meaning that individual farmers that control a tiny tiny tiny fraction of the market share will change their production to make the supply/demand curves consistent. Corn ethanol is a market for corn, just as cattle feed is a market for it.

You want to talk about inefficient use of corn? Cattle can not digest starch. Have you ever seen cow manure? It has bits of corn, because they only digest the protein. Interestingly enough, ethanol production only uses the starch... leaving DDS (the protein byproduct enhanced with yeast). Ranchers/Farmers that use DDS are using the two main parts of the kernel in an efficient manner. So while ethanol only yiels 1.3 times the net energy input into corn, you must also look at the byproducts from ethanol as a potential use...

It's funny how perfectly competitive markets come up with such efficient solutions..............


To correct a typo... I meant DDGS and not DDS! (Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles)


Hand wring. Frown. Grimace. Moan. Arghh. Just because ethanol made from food (sugar)has been powering 80 percent of the transportation in Brazil for the last 30 years - doesn't mean 1.5 and 2.0 ethanol would work here!

Golly it's:

made from waste
made from non-food crops on barren land
lower cost than gasoline
lower pollution
does not send $$ to foreign sources
is not controlled by big oil

Anyone whose really green know this is a dead end.

nrg nut

And it goes fast too:

Will S


As someone who has raised cattle, I've seen what pasture patties look like, and a sweeping statement about cattle not digesting starch is incorrect. And so you don't simply take me at my word;


The supply of ethanol is increasing too. Here are U.S. Ethanol production figures, per EIA.

July 2007: 13,083. July 2008: 19,042. This is a 45% increase over a one year period, (in thousands of barrels per month).

*thousand barrels per month.

It's Bush's fault. Obama will make it better.


Man, oh man. I don't understand the anti-ethanol crowd. They are soooo uninformed and gullable. No mater where ethanol comes from, it's not Hugo Chavez, and it's not the middle east. And even if you don't think using corn is a good idea, wait just a couple of more years and corn ethanol will be gone. Cellulosic has the potential and does not compete with food. Feedstocks are many, including trash...but the feedstocks for it are not food and require very little farming. And ethanol was never intended to be a single source of fuel for an entire society, but folks, it is part of our future of choices we will, and should have. Never again should we make the mistake we did with petroleum. Making it the sole source was the dumbest thing in the history of this country. Biofuels are something we should have a choice in. The anti ethanol know it all crowd thinks their solution is the only one...and that's making the same mistake we did with oil.


Will S-

A 'pasture patty' would be mostly comprised of grass, yeah?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)