U.S. E85 Availability Grows by Double Digits in 2008
The latest survey by the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) indicates that the number of E85 pumps in America has risen by 28 percent since September 2007. The current total of 1,802 includes both public and private refueling rigs, with the general public having access to 1,693 of them. As one might expect, the heartland leads the way in E85 availability, with 357 outlets in Minnesota, 188 in Illinois and 112 in Missouri. Currently seven states -- Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont -- have no E85 retailers of any kind. A complete list of E85 stations can be found at www.e85refueling.com.
According to NEVC statistics, the current nationwide average price for a gallon of E85 is $2.68 compared to $3.26 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Countering that 18-percent positive price differential is the fact that E85 has a 23-28 percent lower specific energy content than gasoline. However, E85 does hold the significant advantage of being both cleaner burning and primarily made from a renewable resource. Although next-generation E85 blends derived from cellulosic ethanol promise even lower emissions, a Department of Energy study on E85 cited results from the Argonne National Laboratory showing that even today's corn-based E85 produces 17-23 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than regular gasoline on a per-mile basis.