Propel Fuels partners with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to educate customers on benefits of E85

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2009
Web exclusive posted April 30, 2009, at 1:40 p.m. CST

Renewable fuels retailer Propel Fuels recently announced the company has formed a partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to fuel Enterprise's flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) rental fleet in Sacramento, Calif. The program will help educate Enterprise's customers on the benefits of E85.

A total of 12 Sacramento-area Enterprise locations have been selected to participate in the pilot program, which is scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2009. According to Rob Elam, president of Propel Fuels, information on E85 and Propel Fuels' Sacramento-area Clean Fuel Points will be available at the rental counters of these 12 locations. There will also be information inside the glove box of Enterprise's FFVs, including a map to all of Propel Fuel's Clean Fuel Points. The two companies are also working to develop an online component to the partnership.

The partnership will support Enterprise's comprehensive environmental stewardship program, which focuses on several initiatives, including a carbon offset program, alternative technologies, fueling with renewable fuels, donating to renewable fuel research and operating the world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient cars.

"We really applaud Enterprise for their commitment to E85 and their commitment to flex fuel vehicles," said Elam. "We think that - especially in states like California - that kind of leadership from business is very much appreciated by both the public as well as policy decision makers at the state level."

Propel Fuels recently established five Clean Fuel Points in and around the Sacramento area. These Clean Fuel Points are small modular fuel dispensers that are collocated with existing fueling stations. Propel Fuels builds, owns and operates the fueling points, and pays a monthly fee to the owner of each existing site.

According to Elam, the benefit of this business model is that station owners are able to realize the benefits of offering renewable fuels without any of the associated expenses. "[The station owners] don't need to put any money upfront to deploy any sort of infrastructure, they don't have to manage the fuel procurement, they don't have to do any of the customer outreach, and they also don't have to do any of the credit card integration," he said. What the station owners do get is to collect a monthly fee from Propel Fuels. They also benefit through an expanded customer base and publicity generated due to the availability of renewable fuels.

Elam said Propel Fuels' partnership with Enterprise could expand in the future as the company establishes more Clean Fuel Points in other areas of California. He also said that his company is working to develop incentives for Enterprise customers who fill their rental vehicles with Propel Fuels' E85.