E15 Hits 5-Year Milestone

Ethanol blend achieves key retail marker at a pivotal time

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Five years ago in Kansas, the first retailer began selling E15, the 15% ethanol blend.

That site—a Zarco 66 location in Lawrence, Kan., since rebranded to Zarco USA—formally debuted E15 in a grand opening on July 18, 2012. Five years later, nearly 900 stations in 29 states offer the ethanol blend, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Washington, D.C. More than 1 billion miles have been driven on E15, by RFA estimates.

In June 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved E15’s use in vehicle model years 2001 and newer, or almost 90% of the current vehicle fleet.

“Since the debut of E15 five years ago, consumers have enjoyed greater access to a fuel that typically costs less, reduces harmful tailpipe pollution, offers higher octane, and boasts a higher renewable content,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen, who credited the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Program and the Prime the Pump initiative for encouraging more retailers to add E15.

The fuel blend marks the fifth anniversary of its retail debut as Congress weighs legislation that would grant it a crucial Reid vapor pressure (Rvp) volatility waiver, which would allow it to be available for sale without restrictions from June 1 to Sept. 15 across the United States.

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