White paper highlights California’s leadership in E85 fuel market

By Propel Fuels | May 29, 2015

Propel Fuels has published “E85: A California Success Story,” a white paper and associated website illustrating California's emergence as the national leader in the use of sustainable E85 flex fuel. Developed by the Propel Silicon Valley Workshop, the paper examines the productive role that low carbon E85 has had in enabling California to meet its carbon reduction and petroleum reduction targets, while improving air quality in the state’s severe non-attainment communities.

“Thanks to smart public policy and a strong value proposition for consumers, California’s E85 use has become a success story, and a road map for our nation for implementing low carbon fuels,” said Rob Elam, CEO of Propel Fuels. “This research conclusively demonstrates that E85 is a successful, sustainable, cost-effective fuel that consumers are choosing when they have retail access.”

E85, also known as flex fuel, is a high octane, low carbon, renewable fuel containing 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. California’s 1 million flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) can use E85 interchangeably with conventional gasoline with no modification. Utilizing data collected by Propel’s research team coupled with work done by the Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission, the paper delivers unprecedented details into E85 market growth, consumer demographics, value perceptions, emissions reductions, and the future potential of this low carbon fuel. Details and the full white paper download are available at CaliforniaE85.com.

Key research findings include:

- California has the highest rate of E85 growth of any state in the nation. E85 use has expanded 600 percent in California since 2009, while gasoline demand has decreased.

- E85 use has significant positive impacts on air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and petroleum reductions; providing air quality benefits in severe non-attainment areas by contributing 18-67 percent reduction in NOx as well as a 32 percent reduction in GHG emissions.

- E85 use has specifically benefited CalEPA designated Disadvantaged Communities.

- E85 is California’s value fuel, with 92 percent of users saying it is the same or better value than gasoline.

- California's 1 million flex fuel vehicles can displace 600 million gallons of petroleum gasoline with E85.

- California’s retail E85 volume per location exceeds the national average by 300 percent.

- As a result of its policies, California is home to the lowest carbon ethanol in the country.

California, the world’s seventh largest economy and third largest petroleum market, is accelerating its implementation of carbon reduction and clean air regulations, including AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and Carbon Cap-and-Trade. In addition, Gov. Jerry Brown has announced an executive order to reduce petroleum use in California 50 percent by 2030. Propel is committed to strong partnerships between public and private sector, developing and supporting progressive public policy that brings equitable, market-based solutions to realize the state’s policy goals.