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NATIONAL REPORT — The number of U.S. gas stations offering E15 could double by the end of 2016.
In fact, if growth of sites selling the blend of 15-percent ethanol and 85-percent gasoline for use in 2001 or newer vehicles continues at the current pace, 1,300 gas stations could offer E15 in just five years, according to a report by The Gazette.
Leading the way are Kum & Go LC and Sheetz Inc., which plan to have a combined 125 stations offering the alternative fuel by the end of 2016.
Kum & Go has added E15 as a fueling option at three Iowa locations since April 30 alone. As CSNews Online previously reported, Kum & Go expects to have 65 locations in seven states selling E15 by the end of 2016.
"We have a strong tradition in our company to implement sustainability within our business and at our locations. From our 100 LEED-certified stores to our selection of alternative fuels, E15 was a natural addition to our fuel offering," explained Jim Pirolli, vice president of fuels for Kum & Go. "Having E15 in our portfolio allows Kum & Go to offer our customers a quality product at a great value.”
In March, Sheetz announced plans to offer the alternative fuel at 60 North Carolina locations by the end of next year. Murphy USA Inc. is also among other c-store chains with plans to add E15 fueling sites.
E15 is touted to have environmental benefits compared to the standard E10, considered the blend wall by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, E15 is purported to have 88 octane. Kum & Go is selling the alternative fuel for 10 cents cheaper per gallon compared to 87-octane E10, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
“Until now, the conversation around E15 was: Why in the world would you have that?” John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute at NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, told The Gazette. “Now, it’s that there may be a reason, an economic incentive.”