More E15 and E85 ethanol fuel blends are coming to Allen and LaPorte Counties in northern Indiana. Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Office of Energy Development say 16 ethanol blender pumps will be installed after Lassus Brothers Oil, Inc. and Family Express Corporation were awarded more than $331,000 in grants in the third round of the Hoosier Homegrown Fuels Blender Pump Program.
Ken Parrent, Director of Biofuels at Indiana Corn says both retailers have been involved in E85 sales from the beginning.
“And with this grant money they’re not only going to sell E85, but they’re also going to add E15 to the lineup which is going to give consumers an even wider choice,” he told HAT. “The EPA has approved E15 for use in vehicles manufactured since 2001 which is more than 80% of the vehicles on the road today. So you won’t need a flex fuel vehicle to fill up with E15.”
With the blender pumps being installed it means more E85 availability for a significant number of flex fuel vehicle owners.
“We have nearly a half million flex fuel vehicles on the roads here in Indiana. Unfortunately, a lot of them either don’t know they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle or they don’t really understand what that means.”
What E85 means for the owner is the option to use a cleaner burning renewable fuel and a 20-25% discounted price from regular unleaded.
“Normally we figure with the difference in gas mileage that you would get with E85 the price would have to be about 20% less, but we’ve got some locations around the state that have been at 30%. On a mile driven basis, if you compare the cost per mile driven E85 has been economical for consumers to use.”
Hoosier Homegrown Fuels (HHF) is part a national grant partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency that aims to expand the availability of higher ethanol blends in areas of the United States where blends of E15 to E85 are limited or not available. HHF is also in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Greater Indiana Clean Cities and South Shore Clean Cities who assisted in scoring the applications and provided outreach support.
“We continue to work toward our goal of making ethanol blended fuels a viable fuel option for Hoosiers throughout the state,” said David Gottbrath, Indiana Corn Marketing Council president and farmer from Washington County. “We are excited to have Lassus Brothers Oil, Inc. and Family Express Corporation partnering with us through HHF to meet that goal.”
ICMC, the state corn checkoff, has committed more than $440,000 in matching funds with the goal of adding 110 pumps offering E15 and E85 across the state. OED received $895,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to put toward the HHF program. More than $1 million was distributed during the first two rounds of grant announcements.
ICMC has been working with fuel retailers across the state to help increase the number of pumps offering ethanol-blended fuels for five years. With the HHF program, ICMC saw an opportunity through the USDA’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to leverage state corn checkoff funds and partner with other organizations to expand ethanol’s availability to the roughly 450,000 Hoosiers throughout the state who drive Flex Fuel Vehicles.
For more information on the HHF program, visit https://in.gov/oed/2736.htm.
For more information about ICMC’s ethanol programs, visit www.incorn.org/ethanol.
The HHF will allow for a total number of 64 blender pumps with funding coming from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ICMC totaling to more than $1,250,000.
Applicant: Lassus Brothers Oil, Inc.
Number of Dispensers: 8
Grant Amount: $176,530.24
Applicant: Family Express Corporation
Number of Dispensers: 8
Grant Amount: $154,682.00
OED and ICMC have asked the grantees to track their ethanol volume sales and marketing efforts through 2017 and their ethanol sales through 2022. This data will help OED and ICMC measure the impact of the new ethanol fueling infrastructure.