OPINION: Make the switch: replace E10/87 with E15/87

By Mike O’Brien, vice president of market development at Growth Energy | August 04, 2021

When it comes to what type of fuel to offer on the forecourt, there’s growing momentum for switching E10/87 with E15/87. In fact, there’s no better time than now—and there are many reasons why.

Not only is it easy to make the switch, the economics in favor of doing so are great. The market share of E15 is growing, as is consumer demand, with E15 representing as much as 50% of total fuel sales in many locations, and drivers have logged nearly 25 billion miles on the fuel in the last seven years. Based on Growth Energy’s collection of more than 4,000 consumer surveys-as well as onsite interviews, GasBuddy research, and trials at more than 350 retail locations- it’s become clear: consumers familiar with E15 are likely to seek out a retailer that offers it—making the opportunities for retailers abundant. 

Retailers looking to make the change to E15/87 may have questions, and that’s what Growth Energy’s team of experts is here for. Correcting misinformation is a critical part of expanding E15’s footprint, especially when it comes to storage and compatibility. In most cases, retailers will not need new pumps to dispense E15. All Wayne dispensers are compatible with ethanol levels up to 15 percent. Additionally, all Gilbarco dispensers from 2008 or newer are approved for E15; all steel tanks and most double-walled fiberglass tanks installed in the past 30 years are compatible with E15; and all UL listed equipment is compatible with E15. Retailers can also easily switch out E10 or mid-grade fuel blends for E15, which makes installation simple.

It’s also important to keep in mind those conversations with your suppliers. Retailers should be asking about the availability of an E15 pre-blend the economic advantages of offering the fuel. Nearly 250 terminals currently offer a pre-blended E15, including Magellan Midstream Partners, Sinclair Oil, Trafigura, and Murphy Oil USA. As more terminals are adding E15 to their lineup, E15 will become more readily available. More than 500 retail sites currently offer pre-blended E15 as well.

Retailers who have made the switch to E15/87 have been enthusiastic with the results and continue to convert additional stores. If you want to hear more directly from Growth Energy partners and the success they’ve seen from adding E15 to their lineup, our YouTube web series, “The E15 Expressway: Web Chats with Retailers” is a great place to start.

Making the switch from E10/87 to E15/87 is easy, and we are here to help guide you through the process. While there is uncertainty surrounding E15’s year-round availability nationwide due to a recent court ruling, Growth Energy is also working to ensure the continuity of sales throughout the rest of the summer driving season and enact a permanent fix once and for all. Our team of experts are industry leaders and have helped more than a dozen leading convenience stores—from Casey’s to Sheetz—expand their fuel offering with E15. Check out our white paper outlining the E15 Advantage, or reach out to a Growth Energy representative: