RFA has the resources to help fuel retailers and fuel marketers offer higher ethanol blends such as E15 and E85. Let the experienced staff at RFA show you how to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to increase margin, gain market share and offer consumers the fastest growing, environmentally superior fuels available today. For more information, contact Cassie Mullen or Robert White.
Why Sell E15?
E15 fuel is comprised of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. This high-octane fuel is approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs), and all flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs).
9 out of 10 of the cars, trucks and SUVs on the road today are approved by their manufacturer to run on E15, representing 97% of the unleaded fuel sold in the United States. E15 has a higher octane rating and typically costs less than regular unleaded. This gives the retailer a lower-priced, higher-octane fuel to post on the price sign to attract consumers.
RFA has assisted numerous fuel retailers obtain grant awards that will expand the availability of higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 flex fuel in the U.S. In addition to hosting webinars for various industry stakeholders, RFA assists fuel retailers with completing and submitting applications. To date, RFA has secured more than $275 million in public and private resources for the expansion of higher ethanol blend infrastructure through programs including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) and Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). For more information, contact Cassie Mullen at [email protected].
How to Sell E15
The RFA has developed an E15 Retailer Handbook to provide fuel retailers with regulatory and technical guidance to legally store and sell E15. This includes sample checklists, labeling options, questions to contemplate regarding offering E15, and requirements retailers must execute before proceeding. We have also developed a simple "how to" document to legally sell E15 including graphics on possible hose configurations.
The U.S. EPA requires a Misfueling Mitigation Plan for a retailer to offer E15 to consumers. RFA is available to assist retailers with the process, which includes:
- Labels and Product Transfer Documents (PTDs). RFA offers required labels at no cost.
- Parties involved in the manufacture of E15 must participate in a survey of compliance at fuel retail dispensing facilities to ensure proper labeling of dispensers. This survey is active today, and it only takes 5 minutes to register. Visit www.RFGSA.org to complete.
- Parties must submit a plan to EPA for approval. Visit the EPA website for more information.
The cost to upgrade an existing retail gas station to sell E15 is probably less than you might think. The Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) conducted a nationwide study and examined the potential cost of installing E15 at retail gas stations under 10 different scenarios. For example, those that can use existing tanks, pipe, and dispensers can in some cases offer E15 for under $1,200 on average per station.
E85 and Flex-Fuel Vehicles
E85 is a fuel blend containing up to 83% ethanol and 15% gasoline and contains about 98 octane. E85 can only be used in flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). There are now more than 24 million FFVs on the road, or nearly 10% of all vehicles, representing more vehicles than require premium today. Click here for a list of all FFVs.
There are several ways to determine if a vehicle is an FFV:
- Sticker inside the vehicle’s fuel filler door; some manufacturers add yellow gas gaps for additional recognition.
- FFV badge on the rear of the vehicle.
- Check the owner’s manual; it’s also encoded in the vehicle’s identification number (VIN).
E85 does require different equipment than regular gasoline. E85 can easily be incorporated into multi-product dispensers, eliminating the need for stand-alone equipment. View the Handbook for Handling, Storing & Dispensing E85.
Fuel equipment sold today is typically tested by the manufacture to prove that it is compatible at one of four levels of ethanol: 10% (E10), 25% (E25), 85% (E85), or 100% (E100). That marks the highest level of ethanol that equipment has been proven to accommodate without a risk of failure (i.e. spilling fuel into the environment). Some equipment, like most new underground storage tanks, already comes compatible at the E85 or E100 level.
There is a federal alternative vehicle refueling property credit for fuel retailers to offer E85. This credit is available through tax year 2021. Click here for more information.
Promote Your Station
If you offer E85, RFA will ensure that your station is listed in our station locator found at www.E85prices.com. This website and the E85prices.com mobile app help E85 users find your station.