Energy Secretary Lauds New Ethanol Fuel Pumps in Indiana

May 11, 2006

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman visited Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 11th to congratulate Meijer, Inc. on its plans to add E85 fuel pumps at up to 20 Meijer supermarkets. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline and can be used in special "flexible fuel" vehicles that burn either E85 or gasoline. Currently, 656 fueling stations in the United States offer E85, up from fewer than 100 in 2001. "Flexible fuel vehicles and E85 are proven options for substituting a clean-burning renewable fuel for gasoline, and I believe it should be our common goal that E85 become a nationwide fueling option," Secretary Bodman said. See the Secretary's comments and the press release from the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC).

Jeff Simmons, Samuel Bodman, and Andy Karsner lean over the cockpit of an Indycar racer while Simmons explains its features.

Team Ethanol driver Jeff Simmons (left) points out the features of his race car to Secretary Bodman (center) and Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner (right).
Credit: DOE

Secretary Bodman also attended "Ethanol Day" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year, all vehicles in the IndyCar Series will be fueled by ten percent ethanol-enriched fuel, and next season they will run on 100 percent ethanol. See the DOE press release.

Although the number of E85 pumps in the United States remains small, sales of E85 are growing rapidly. In Minnesota, there are now 206 E85 pumps, compared to only 106 in 2005, and E85 sales more than tripled over the past year. In other parts of the Corn Belt, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) celebrated the opening of 13 E85 stations between mid-April and mid-May, while Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm applauded a partnership of GM, Meijer, and others that will bring 20 new E85 fuel pumps to the state. And South Dakotans may have the best deal of all: they get to choose their ethanol blend (including E85) at pumps in Watertown and Britton. Outside the Corn Belt, the Kroger Company is adding E85 pumps to 18 fuel stations in Texas this summer, while Lititz, Pennsylvania, just gained the first publicly available E85 fuel pump in the Northeast. See the press releases from the NEVC (PDF 50 KB); the IRFA; Governor Granholm; the South Dakota Corn Council and Corn Growers Association; Kroger; and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Download Adobe Reader.