GM to help expand E85 infrastructure

By Kris Bevill | July 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 16, 2008 at 4:09 p.m. CST

The National Governors Association and General Motors Corp. have agreed to work together to help states expand E85 infrastructure and availability. The partnership was formed under the Securing a Clean Energy Future Initiative, a gubernatorial task force created to improve the use of energy resources and promote nonpetroleum-based fuels. Work on the project should begin within the next few months after the NGA finalizes the application, criteria and process for states.

Alan Adler, biofuels communication manager for GM, said the company has already helped bring E85 stations online in 16 states, including California, South Dakota and Mississippi. According to Adler, eight additional states will be targeted for the first year of the GM-NGA partnership. Those states have yet to be determined and will be chosen based upon the level of interest shown on behalf of the state, as well as screening conducted by the NGO and GM.

Adler said GM works openly with many organizations in order to increase E85 availability on a national level. "We have worked with a variety of organizations, NGOs and others including Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, state energy offices, fuel distributors, chain stores that have fuel stations, Enterprise Rent A Car, and Clean Fuel Distribution out of Georgetown, Texas, a turnkey provider of pump conversion services and E85 fuel contracts," he said.

"The infrastructure development for E85 needs to expand now if the nation is to be ready for the significant growth in ethanol coming from new sources," said Beth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. "We need a range of alternatives to offset growing energy demand in this country and globally."

As part of GM's participation in the program, the company will connect fuel retailers with available grants for installations and conversions, as well as offer its assistance in determining the best location for E85 pumps. The company also plans to increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles (FFV) it produces - 18 FFV models are set to come off the production line in 2009.