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Drive Toward E85 This Thanksgiving with GPS and iPhone Apps

November 23, 2010

           

An estimated 38.4 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from their home last Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with family and friends. With nearly nine million flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) on the road, many drivers have the option to fuel their travels with clean burning, cheaper, American made E85 fuel. FFVs are capable of running on any ethanol-blended fuel from unleaded to E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). Typically when I am getting ready for a road trip, I fully rely on my Garmin GPS to get me where I need to be. It has those great buttons to help you find restaurants, airports, fuel and more while you're on the road. One thing no one wants while traveling is to run out of fuel. It would not be pleasant to watch that gas gage dip below the red warning bar while sitting in holiday traffic. Fortunately, the RFA has developed a Points of Interest (POIs) E85 fuel station locater for Garmin and TomTom GPS devices so FFV drivers always know where their next fueling location will be. This application maps out E85 stations all across the country, finding the closest or most convenient stations to the driver's location. The application runs on a national database and has over 2,400 E85 fueling stations to identify. This data is updated by the RFA once a quarter to ensure the database is correct for GPS enthusiasts across the country searching for E85. To download the Garmin and TomTom E85 Station POI application, click here for step-by-step instructions. There, consumers can download individual state data, a combination of states, or national data directly to their computer and then to their GPS devices. The database for both TomTom and Garmin can be found at www.ChooseEthanol.com. If you do not have a Garmin or TomTom GPS, don't fret. There is an app for your iPhone that will let you locate E85 fueling stations, too.  Developed by Digital Laundry, a Customer Experience Consultancy, this application will also work on the iTouch and iPad. With the database embedded in the iPhone itself, this application is useful, even if the user is in a no-service zone.  Users have the ability to add a station as a "favorite" for quick and easy accessibility, view or update the price per gallon of E85 fuel at specific locations, access driving directions through Google maps, and directly contact a specific station via telephone. The cost of the application is $1.99, which you can download here, and is also available on the App Store. Also remember to give thanks to all our farmers who work hard to put food on our tables and fuel in our vehicles.