More Minnesota Drivers Are Choosing E85 In 2011
SAINT PAUL, Minn., Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — E85 is selling briskly in the upper Midwest, according to organizations that track the sales of the ethanol-based motor fuel. In the first eight months of the year, Minnesota E85 sales have increased by 26 percent, as retailers sold nearly 3 million gallons more of the cleaner-burning fuel than during the same period in 2010. Minnesota is not alone — recent reports from Iowa and North Dakota show drivers in those states have also bought significantly more E85 this year than in 2010.
Minnesota also continues to make progress in its effort to reduce gasoline consumption in state-owned vehicles. Between July 2010 and June 2011, the state fleet used more than one million gallons of E85, setting a new record for a 12-month period. According to the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee, E85 now accounts for approximately 19 percent of their light-duty fuel purchases. State agencies used 736,885 gallons of E85 from January through September, up from the 724,827 gallons during the same period in 2010.
“I am pleased to report that many of our state agencies continue to lead by example, increasing their use of E85 fuel in state vehicles,” said Tim Morse, chair of the SmartFleet Committee and director of Fleet and Surplus Services for the Minnesota Department of Administration. “This increase is all the more notable because many of the state’s 3,000 flex fuel vehicles that are capable of using E85 were not driven during a 20-day state government shutdown in July.”
“There is clearly a sustained demand for cleaner alternatives to petroleum-based fuels,” said Kelly Marczak, director of the Clean Air Choice program of the American Lung Association in Minnesota and SmartFleet Committee member. “Using these fuels not only reduces lifecycle emissions and air pollution, they also help reduce our dependence on petroleum, a majority of which is imported into Minnesota from tar sand sources.”
Minnesota has more than 360 E85 retail outlets, more than any other state. E85 can be used in flex fuel vehicles which can run on gasoline or any blend of ethanol up to 85 percent. Flex fuel capability now comes standard on more than 50 vehicle models and there are nearly a quarter million flex fuel vehicles registered in the state. For more information on E85 and flex fuel vehicles or to find an E85 retailer nearby, see www.CleanAirChoice.org.
SOURCE American Lung Association in Minnesota