E51-E85

Fuel retailers have many choices today, from the brand of coffee to offer inside the station to what fuels to offer under the canopy.  Offering E85 is one such option and provides consumers with another fuel choice at the pump. 

While E85 has been in the marketplace for nearly three decades, this fuel has rarely gotten the attention it deserves. E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) is ~98 octane and reduces emissions more than 30% over straight gasoline. E85 is also defined as an alternative fuel and is required for use by some fleets. 

E85 can only be used in flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs), which are capable of operating on E85, straight gasoline, or any combination of the two.  There are now more than 20 million FFVs on the road, or roughly 8% of all vehicles, representing more vehicles than require premium today.  There are about 4,440 retail stations offering E85 today in the United States. 

Equipment

E85 does require different equipment than regular gasoline. This equipment can have an additional cost above the gasoline-only version, dependent upon the component. A retailer can choose a conversion kit for existing equipment or purchase new component parts from tank to nozzle. E85 can easily be incorporated into multiproduct dispensers, eliminating the need for stand-alone equipment. Introducing E85 can also offer additional opportunities to provide other midlevel blends.

Incentives

Available incentives can be reviewed here. If you still have questions, please contact Cassie Mullen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are my potential customers?

Federally-regulated fleets including the post office, state fleets, departments of agriculture and utilities all include alternative fuel vehicles, and in many cases flex fuel vehicles.  Other potential customers include new car dealerships in your area. Do they offer FFVs? If so, these dealerships receive money from the auto manufacturers to fill their vehicles before they are delivered to their new owners. Why not work with the dealership to ensure the first fill of these FFVs is E85? Then, ask the dealership to include a coupon, or information with the sale, with your station location and perhaps the new buyer will use your station. In the end, there are many potential customers who will use your station if no one else offers E85 in your area. 

Why sell E85?

Selling E85 allows you to service an untapped market. Offering E85 provides retailers an opportunity to attract new customers by offering a unique product.   E85 is also historically at a discount to regular unleaded and might allow you to display a much lower price on your price sign than your competition, increasing traffic to your station. 

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Will the RFA help promote that I have E85?

If you offer E85, RFA will ensure that your station is listed in our station locator found at www.E85prices.com. It will allow E85 users to find you on the website, or through our E85prices.com mobile app.

More information

If you would like more information, or simply have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Robert White at rwhite@ethanolrfa.org.

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