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FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Lassus Bros. Oil Inc. will begin selling an ethanol blend next week at its newest station in Fort Wayne, Ind., making it the first company to pump E-85 for retail customers in that market, reported The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette .
E-85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol, a grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn, and 15 percent gasoline.
Only those cars specially equipped for the alternative fuel can use it. Models include some versions of the full-size Chevy Yukon, Tahoe and Silverado and GMC Sierra.
Fred Grote, Kelley Automotive Group’s general manager, estimated that Kelley’s car lots have about 100 new and used vehicles for sale that can run on E-85, reported The Journal Gazette .
Customers haven’t been asking for vehicles that run on the blended fuel, probably because they don’t know about it, he told The Journal Gazette .
But Grote predicted Wednesday that customer awareness will skyrocket after Lassus Bros. begins its advertising campaign. And after drivers who cruise past the station see in big, bold numbers how much E-85 costs -- sometimes 30 to 50 cents a gallon less than gasoline -- they could start clamoring for vehicles that can run on it, he said in the The Journal Gazette report.
"I don’t think anybody knows what E-85 is yet. I just learned a couple of months ago," Grote told The Journal Gazette . "I think you’re going to see more and more of it."
Lassus Bros. owns and operates about 40 Lassus Handy Dandy convenience stores in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.