NEVC: U.S. E85 stations exceed 1,800

By Anna Austin | October 06, 2008
Web exclusive posted Oct. 17, 2008 at 9:34 a.m. CST

The number of E85 stations across the United States has increased by 28 percent in the past year, according to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.

A report released by the NEVC on Oct. 13 stated there are approximately 1,802 private and public refueling stations in the United States. Minnesota has maintained a considerable lead with 357 stations, while Illinois follows with 188 and Missouri with 112. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Alaska and Hawaii are currently the only states that don't offer any E85 fueling sites.

Phil Lampert, executive director of the NEVC, said E85 represents the only significant growth opportunity in the field of liquid fuels. "Fuel retailers have many incentives to add this clean, renewable product to their facilities," he said. "The spike in E85 fueling stations is a direct reflection of the federal income tax credit that the NEVC and our partners worked hard to implement in 2005."

The provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 allowed franchise operators to install E85 fueling sites is a significant federal action that has been implemented to address the growth of the E85 infrastructure, Lampert said.

According to the NEVC, there are currently more than six million flexible-fuel vehicles on the road. In March 2006, Chrysler LLC, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. pledged to convert 50 percent of each company's fleet to flex-fuel by 2012. Lampert said much progress needs to be made before vehicle manufacturers are able to meet such an ambitious goal.

"Obviously, we aren't close to the amount of E85 stations we must have to make this move forward," he said. "We need to continue to work on that infrastructure—there is no value to increase flex fuel vehicle production unless this happens."