OPINION: What’s behind the growing terminal availability of E15?

By Mike O’Brien, Growth Energy vice president of market development | April 02, 2019

Consumer demand for E15—also known as Unleaded 88—has been driving E15 retail adoption for the past few years, and that in turn has caused an explosion of growth on the terminal front. Only five terminals offered pre-blended E15 in 2017, fast-forward to today that number sits at more than 100.

That sudden growth was not just by happenstance. Working with Prime the Pump—a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of higher biofuel blends, to give more and more Americans the choice of E15 at the pump—Growth Energy has focused its efforts on establishing partnerships with the largest volume, independent players in the fuel space, which in turn has spurred a significant increase in E15 availability at terminals across the country—from five in 2017 to more than 100 today.

Pre-blended supply of E15 into the fuel marketplace is a crucial step in further expansion of higher biofuel blends, and our success with Prime the Pump has led to a steep growth in terminals offering E15 across the country. Our work with the nation’s leading retailers to expand E15 availability has put pressure on terminals to follow suit, causing a domino effect in their offering of pre-blended E15 at their locations across most of the country. It is ultimately consumer demand from retailers we work with, like Kwik Trip, RaceTrac, Casey’s, Cumberland Farms, and others has pushed open the doors to a ready supply of E15 at terminals.

With a surge in retailer adoption and terminal availability, we’re also seeing steady growth in consumer adoption as exemplified by consumers surpassing 8 billion miles on this cleaner-burning, engine sound fuel. This milestone is a reflection of the growing popularity of the fuel made possible by rapid retail adoption and more terminal availability of the fuel across the nation.

Leading retailers including Casey’s, Cumberland Farms, Family Express, Holiday, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Rutters, Sheetz, and Thorntons all currently offer E15 at more than 1,700 stations across the U.S.

To find out more about how to take advantage of E15 competitive advantage, head to our retailer hub at growthenergy.org/resources/retailer-hub/.