This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 09, 2005

VeraSun and Ford to Convert Gasoline Pumps to Ethanol

VeraSun Energy Corporation, the nation's second largest ethanol producer, announced on November 4th that it will work with Ford Motor Company in 2006 to convert gasoline pumps in the Midwest to E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline. The companies will also launch a consumer awareness campaign to promote the benefits and use of E85, and Ford will ask local dealerships to participate in the campaign. Currently, of the more than 180,000 fuel stations in the United States, only about 500 offer E85. Flexible fuel vehicles can run on either E85 or gasoline, and Ford is offering four new models with the flexible fuel technology option for 2006: the Ford F-150, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. See the VeraSun press release.

The ethanol fuel industry continues to grow rapidly. In the first week of November alone, construction started on four new ethanol plants in Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska, and a new plant in Iowa started production. Currently, 92 ethanol plants nationwide have the capacity to produce more than four billion gallons annually. Another 23 ethanol plants and seven expansions are under construction, and will add more than a billion gallons in annual production capacity. Meanwhile, Panda Energy, which made news in May by announcing plans to build an ethanol plant in Texas powered by cow manure, has since announced plans to build similar plants in Colorado and Kansas. See the recent press releases from the Renewable Fuels Association and Panda Energy.