Ethanol: cost savings, fuel choices and 100 years of gas stations

By Renewable Fuels Association | November 27, 2013

This Thanksgiving, as Americans take to the highways and rural country roads to visit relatives, they will be zipping past countless gas stations and often stopping to fill up their gas tanks, buy a snack, or simply stretch their legs. This coming Sunday, Dec. 1, marks the 100th anniversary of the modern gas station.

“For 100 years drivers have been paying too much for transportation fuel. This can be seen today more than ever,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “The price of gasoline is the first thing people see as they drive into a gas station. With the excitement of seeing loved ones comes the reality of the cost of a tank of gasoline, but ethanol reduces the cost of gasoline by on average $1.00/gallon in 2012 and 2013. In addition to cost savings it offers consumers choice at the pump. Now that is truly something to be thankful for.”

A popular cost saving fuel choice is E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) for flex fuel vehicles. There are approximately 3,200 stations offering E85 today and over 15.5 million flex fuel vehicles on the road. According to, E85 prices in Michigan today average $2.62, compared to the average gas price of $3.27. In Lake Odessa, Michigan E85 prices even reached as low as $2.19.

To locate local E85 stations, please visit will direct you to E85 locator apps for iPhone or Android systems. The website also includes downloads for Garmin or TomTom navigation devices.

In addition to E85, consumers increasingly have the option of a new fuel blend, E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) for cars 2001 and newer. E15 is the most tested fuel in the history of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has already been driven over 45 million miles with no known instances of engine damage or misfueling. Approximately 75 percent of vehicles currently on the road are approved for E15 use.

E15 is currently available in 10 states including Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, and Illinois. The most recent E15 station opened last week in Northern Illinois at the Rochelle Petro Travel Plaza.