Iowa sets new record for first quarter E85 sales

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | June 26, 2014

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has announced Iowa motorists purchased 2.71 million gallons of E85 in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Revenue. The sales set a new first quarter record at a nearly a 48 percent increase over the first quarter of 2013.

“As the EPA debates slashing 2014 requirements under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), the cost-savings of ethanol-blended fuels continues to grow and Iowans are purchasing E85 at a record rate” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “When you follow-up a record year for E85 sales in 2013 with record E85 sales in the first quarter of 2014, it’s further proof that when given the choice, consumers will choose cleaner-burning, lower-cost ethanol blends.”

On June 24, the IRFA also reported the largest wholesale price spread between E85 and regular gasoline since it began tracking prices through its Weekly Iowa E85 Wholesale Price Listing Service. On Monday, June 23, the average price of regular 87-octane gasoline without ethanol was $3.23 per gallon at the Des Moines Terminal, according to OPIS. Meanwhile, Absolute Energy, an ethanol plant in St. Ansgar, Iowa, was selling E85 for $1.64 per gallon.

 “At the wholesale level, E85 is being sold for nearly half the price of regular gasoline – that’s right, it’s nearly 50 percent cheaper,” added Shaw. “With Fourth of July travel just around the corner, it will literally pay for flex-fuel vehicle owners to find E85 along their route.”

E85 is a fuel blend containing between 70 and 85 percent ethanol. E85 is currently sold at more than 200 fueling sites in Iowa, and can be used in all flex-fuel vehicles (FFV). To determine if your vehicle can use E85, please check your owner’s manual, the vehicle’s fuel cap, or click here for a list of FFVs.

For a list of retail locations offering E85, please click here.             

To view IRFA’s Wholesale E85 Price Listing Service, please click here.

To view Iowa Department of Revenue’s quarterly E85 sales data, please click here.

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.