More Minnesotans than ever before are filling up with E15

EthanolPerhaps you’ve heard about it on the radio. Maybe you’ve seen an ad in the newspaper. Or maybe your neighbor has talked about saving a few bucks by filling up with a new fuel at the station down the street.

E15 is taking off in Minnesota, and it’s popularity will likely continue to rise in the coming years.

In October, Minnesota drivers filled up with 472,172 gallons of E15. That’s nearly double the amount of E15 sold in September. Minnesota drivers are on pace to use 2.4 million gallons of E15 in 2015, shattering last year’s record of 257,855 gallons.

E15 is a blend of 15 percent cleaner-burning, homegrown ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. It’s approved for use in all vehicles made in 2001 or after. Typically, E15 is priced 5-10 cents less than regular unleaded (which contains 10 percent ethanol).

Availability is one reason for the huge upswing in E15 sales. There are about 120 pumps that dispense E15 in the state today compared to 49 at the end of 2014. Marketing and promotions is another factor. Because E15 is a new fuel to most customers, stations have been running promotional campaigns and discounts this fall to get drivers to try it.

There’s also a broad coalition that includes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association and Minnesota ethanol plants that have been supporting the installation of flex-fuel pumps and E15 promotional activities.

Combine all those factors — add in continued consumer demand for more choices at the pump that are lighter on the wallet and better for air quality — and it’s not hard to see why E15 is taking off in Minnesota.

With the number of flex-fuel pumps that dispense E15 expected to increase to 620 in the near future, it looks like the popularity of E15 will only continue to increase. If you’d like to find a station that dispenses E15 near you, check out www.mnfuels.com.

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