E15 Hits Half-Billion-Mile Mark

As more chains introduce ethanol blend, usage figures grow

WASHINGTON -- E15 has reached a big usage milestone: American consumers have driven more than 500 million miles on the 15% ethanol blend with gasoline.

That estimate from Growth Energy, an ethanol industry trade group, is based on sales and consumption data reported by major fuel retailers and covers the past 12 months. Convenience-store chains and brands offering the fuel blend include RaceTrac, Sheetz, Thorntons, Murphy USA, Family Express, Minnoco and Kum & Go.

More than 400 fueling sites in 28 states are currently selling E15, according to the group. This is out of the more than 124,000 c-stores in the United States that sell fuel.

Growth Energy calls E15 “the most tested fuel in history,” despite some concerns opponents have raised over consumer misfueling and fueling infrastructure compatibility. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved E15 for use in vehicle models 2001 and newer, or nine out of 10 vehicles currently on the road. Growth Energy notes that automakers have approved E15 for use in almost 75% of new cars.

“Ethanol is already in 97% of the gasoline sold in the United States, so drivers are accustomed to the better value and higher performance of fuel blended with ethanol,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Growth Energy, in a statement. “Now drivers are finding out that E15, which contains 15% ethanol, is an even better choice for their wallets, their engines and the environment.”

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