1. Sandra’s Quick Stop
CHICAGO -- Sandra’s Quick Stop in Garnett, Kan., has become one of the latest fuel retailers to add E15, the 15% ethanol blend, to their fuel offer this year. The one-store retailer added blender pumps funded by a grant program administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, according to the High Plains/Midwest AG Journal.
“This is about increasing the motorists’ choices when they fill up,” said store owner Sandra Zook. “If you want to use regular unleaded or premium fuel, that’s great, but now you have access to E15 if you have a vehicle 2001 or newer, and E30 and E85 if you have a flex-fuel vehicle.”
To celebrate the launch, Sandra’s Quick Stop is holding a grand opening this week that features special speakers such as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, store promotions, gift-card giveaways for veterans as well as fuel discount: 15 cents off of E15, 30 cents off of E30, and E85 priced at 85 cents per gallon.
Sandra’s Quick Stop joins more than 350 other fueling locations, from mom-and-pops to large chains such as Murphy USA and Mapco, now offering E15. What follows are several larger players that have added the ethanol blend over the past year ...
This October, Sheetz opened its 10th E15 location at its store in Manassas, Va.
The Altoona, Pa.-based chain, which has more than 500 stores in six states, plans to add E15 to 10 more sites in Virginia. The installation, which also included E85, was funded through a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership.
The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership Grant offers nearly $5 million toward installing ethanol refueling infrastructure in Virginia and Maryland. These Sheetz sites are the first E15 fueling locations in the state of Virginia.
In October, RaceTrac opened in Florida the first of more than 120 planned locations that will sell E15. The four stores are located in the central and southwest Florida markets of Deltona, Lakeland, Ft. Myers and Naples.
Atlanta-based RaceTrac, which has more than 400 sites, plans to introduce E15 to more than a quarter of its locations in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas over the next three years.
4. Gate Petroleum
Gate Petroleum Co.’s first E15 and E85 site opened in July in Jacksonville, Fla. The site was also the first E15 location in north Florida. To add the fuels, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Gate Petroleum, which has about 70 stores in the Southeast, partnered with Protec Fuel, which provides turnkey ethanol programs for retailers.
This past summer, Thorntons Inc., Louisville, Ky., began the rollout of E15 to all of its 43 Chicago-area stores. The chain, which has more than 180 stores in six states, has branded E15 as Unleaded15. CEO Tony Harris told CSP Daily News that the ethanol blend is “a unique fuel product” because it improves engine power and performance through the higher-octane content, despite typically costing less at the pump than E10.
Thorntons is taking a two-phased approach to introducing E15 to customers, beginning with training store employees to become “subject-matter experts” on E15, educating customers and driving further awareness and purchases with special promotions and pricing.
6. Family Express
Family Express has begun adding E15 at locations in Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke, Tippecanoe and White counties. The Valparaiso, Ind.-based chain, which has nearly 70 sites in Indiana, has been selling E85 for about a decade.
“The initial deployment of Unleaded e15 will be executed for about one-third of our 68 stores,” Gus Olympidis, founder and CEO of Family Express, told CSP Daily News this past summer. “It is reasonable to expect further transition to additional locations as we engage in planned replacement of fuel dispensers. Our strategy remains consistent with our goal of supporting domestic/renewable fuels.”
7. Kum & Go
Kum & Go, West Des Moines, Iowa, is on track to add E15 to 100 or more sites by the end of 2016. This includes blender pumps at 30 new sites and retrofitted pumps at 70 other locations. The chain, which has more than 430 sites in 11 states, decided to add E15 after a deliberative, two-year process. This follows its success with the 85% ethanol blend E85, which is available at more than 160 locations.