Fuels

E15, E85 Fuel Volume in Minnesota Was Up 21% in 2023

1 out of every 5 retail stations in the state offer E15, E85 or both
E15, E85 volume up in Minnesota
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sales of E15 and E85 in Minnesota hit record highs in 2023, according to data released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Commerce

The volume of E15 sold in Minnesota reached 127.6 million gallons in 2023, up 21% from 2022 and more than double the amount from five years ago. Meanwhile, E85 sales reported to the Minnesota Department of Revenue hit 16.6 million gallons in 2023, up 8% from 2022 and the highest on record.

Minnesota is one of only two states (Iowa being the other) that specifically track sales volumes of E15. As of Jan. 1, 2023, there were 3,388 convenience stores in the United States offering E15.

Starting in 2025, Minnesota will be one of eight Midwest states where the year-round sales of E15 will be allowed, due to EPA’s long-delayed final approval of the petition of eight governors to allow sales of the blend year-round. The government currently restricts sales of E15 gasoline in summer months due to environmental concerns over smog, though the biofuel industry says those concerns are unfounded, according to a Reuters report. 

“When it comes to expanding the use of ethanol, Minnesota continues to set an excellent example for the rest of the country to follow,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Minnesota families understand the economic and environmental benefits of using higher blends like E15 and flex fuels like E85; they know that choosing these lower-cost, lower-carbon fuels supports local farmers and creates good-paying jobs across the state. Our message to other states is simple: follow the North Star State’s lead on renewable fuels.”

E85 prices averaged $2.67 per gallon, 73 cents per gallon (21%) below the average price of $3.40 per gallon for regular gasoline. E15 prices averaged $3.24 per gallon, representing a 5% discount to regular gasoline.

The data shows 468 retail stations in Minnesota offer E15 and 458 stations sell E85. This means more than one out of every five retail stations in the state offer E15, E85 or both. Taking into account those stations that did not report E15 and E85 volumes to state agencies, total estimated sales were 168.5 million gallons of E15 and 19 million gallons of E85.

Minnesota consumers are at risk of losing the cost savings and environmental benefits of E15 unless the Biden administration or Congress moves quickly to allow continued sales of the low-carbon blend throughout the upcoming summer, Cooper said. Without action from Washington, Minnesota retailers offering E15 will have to stop selling the fuel on June 1 until it is allowed year-round in 2025.

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