American drivers top 7 billion miles on E15

By Matt Thompson | February 01, 2019

Drivers in the U.S. have reached another milestone: they’ve logged over 7 billion miles on E15, according to Growth Energy.

Mike O’Brien, Growth Energy’s vice president of market development, said the milestone proves E15 is a blend that consumers purchase time and time again. “I think what that demonstrates is that when E15 is present, consumers are willing to buy it and they’re willing to continue purchasing it and making it their go-to fuel.”

In November last year, drivers had topped the 6-billion-mile mark on E15, so adding an extra billion miles has come quickly and is a good sign for the market. O’Brien said that the additional billion miles was a result of consumers continuing to purchase the fuel, as well retailers’ willingness to offer it. “The retailers we’re working with are offering the product at more and more sites. So again, they’re breaking new ground into new markets with the product, the consumer buys it and they buy more, and so here we are with another billion miles in a very short period of time, getting us to 7 billion miles total,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that there are now over 1,700 locations selling E15 in the U.S. Those retailers are typically larger, independent retailers, who have also made commitments to expand E15 to more locations. “What we’re seeing long-term also, through various commitments, is that number of sites is going to grow to more than 3,500 within the next couple years. So, we think it’s on a good growth pattern,” O’Brien said.

While more retailers are offering E15, there are still some who are waiting for year-round sales of the fuel to be approved before offering the product, O’Brien said. “I think there is some pent-up demand there that once the RVP (Reid vapor pressure) waiver is cleared, out of the way, that you’ll see even more growth with E15.”

Even without the waiver, O’Brien said the 7-billion-mile record is proof of E15’s strength. “[It’s] another sign that the market is there for E15 and we should see more retailers adding it in the near future,” O’Brien said.