New Stripes First in Corpus Christi Area to Offer E85

Susser showcasing support for environmental initiatives

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The newest Stripes Convenience Store, located in the company's hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, is the first gas station within 100 miles of the Corpus Christi area to offer E85 fuel, a blend of up to 85% ethanol fuel with unleaded gasoline that is used in flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs).

E85 is made to be used in new FFVs only and should not be used in cars and trucks with conventional gasoline engines, the company added.

The E85 fuel is available from a separate, clearly marked dispenser at the Stripes store. The chain also has E85 fuel [image-nocss] available at its newest Lubbock store.

"Stripes takes pride in leading the way by bringing a new alternative fuel option like E85 to our customers looking for a cleaner burning gas for their flex fuel vehicles," said Steve DeSutter, president and CEO of Stripes LLC. "This is something new for us, but with the number of [FFVs] growing, and as cities like Corpus Christi push to find ways to improve air quality and make renewable resources a focus, Stripes will offer E85 fuel at more locations if we find that consumers demand that option."

According to the site, there are approximately 50 locations in Texas that offer E85 fuel, while the U.S. Department of Energy reports more than 2,600 E85 locations throughout the United States.

Being the first motor fuel retailer in the community for E85 fuel is an example of Stripes' ongoing commitment to supporting environmental initiatives in the Corpus Christi area, it said. Since 1996, Stripes has participated in numerous programs in conjunction with The Pollution Prevention Partnership at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi to help reduce air pollution in the community.

Stripes has installed vapor recovery equipment at each one of its gasoline retail sites, has participated in "stop at the click" education campaigns for customer fueling and has hosted several "clean air" events and fairs.

"We've been lucky to have Stripes as a prominent partner on our path to maintain the city's 'clean air' status," said Gretchen Arnold, director of the Pollution Prevention Partnership at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. "Thanks to initiatives like the ones Stripes have helped implement Corpus Christi can continue to be a national leader in clean air initiatives."

In most cases, E85 is priced lower than gasoline, the company said, adding, however, that E85 does produce less energy per gallon. So while consumers may experience lower mileage than with traditional gasoline, the price difference usually makes up for any fuel economy difference the consumer might see when using E85, said Stripes.

Millions of FFVs are on the road across the country, it said. They can be fueled with unleaded gasoline, E85 fuel or any combination of the two; however, E85 fuel cannot be used in conventional, non-FFV engines.

Susser Holdings Corp. is a third-generation, family-led business that operates more than 530 Stripes convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Restaurant service is available in more than 315 of its stores, primarily under the proprietary Laredo Taco Co. brand. The company also supplies branded motor fuel to approximately 435 independent dealers through its wholesale fuel division.