Gasoline retailers Kum & Go and Sheetz announced recently that they will sell E15 fuel in three new states and 125 stations, Reuters reported.
By the end of 2016, those two retailers plan to add E15 at pumps at 125 stations. That will more than double the number of U.S. outlets offering cheaper fuel with a higher ethanol content than the standard E10 blend that contains 10 percent of ethanol.
If retailers continued to add stations at a similar pace over the next five years, there would be some 1,300 stations offering E15.
That would still be just a fraction of the 150,000 stations nationwide, but the roll-out of the fuel by two significant operators with outlets in 17 states challenges a central pillar of oil industry's opposition to ethanol's wider use.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Insititute and other trade groups have been trying for several years to prevent the blended fuel – which contains 15 percent ethanol – from coming to market. Research has shown that the higher level of ethanol can damage or destroy engines that aren’t designed to run it.
To see a map of where E15 is available – and where the expansion will take place – click here
“I remain deeply disturbed that EPA continues to force into the marketplace E15 and other mid-level ethanol fuels for which all non-road product is not designed, built or warranteed. These fuels can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment,” says Kris Kiser, CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “I’m dumbstruck that the government is introducing these fuels into the marketplace without any education and almost no signage.”
In 2013, OPEI launched Look Before You Pump
, a nationwide campaign to educate professional landscape contractors and homeowners about the impact higher levels of ethanol in their fuel can have on their equipment.