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NATIONAL REPORT — It took some time for E15 to make its presence felt following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) June 2012 approval of the fuel blend for 2001 and newer cars. But the alternative fuel is now sold in 91 gas stations (as of Sept. 1), with this number expected to rise exponentially in the near future.
Scott Zaremba, president of Zarco USA, jumped on board right away, becoming the first U.S. retailer to sell E15 at his Lawrence, Kan., location in July 2012, just one month after the EPA's approval. He currently sells E15 at two Zarco USA stores.
"I fundamentally think we have to make changes [as convenience store retailers]," Zaremba told CSNews Online regarding why he offered E15 so quickly. "If you stay the same, you will go on the same path and something catastrophic will happen. I'm in a competitive marketplace and have to be different."
E15 is now sold in 14 states and the alternative fuel is eligible to be sold in 44 states, with the exceptions being Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada and New York, according to ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy.
As for stations that already offer E15, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far, noted Mike O'Brien, Growth Energy's vice president of market development.
"We surveyed 40 locations in November 2013 that had at least 6 months of experience offering E15," he relayed. "There were zero complaints with E15 and that still [is true]. In fact, consumer reaction to E15 has been extremely positive. Consumers love saving money with E15 and have reported their cars perform the same, if not a little better."
According to Growth Energy, approximately 75 stations are expected to add E15 in the next six to eight months. All told, nearly 200 gas stations could offer the fuel blend by next summer.
Murphy USA Inc. and MAPCO Express Inc. are two retailers that recently began selling E15.