Drivers of 2001 model year or newer vehicles can now fill up with 15% ethanol blends once again, now that the silly summer volatility vacation is over.
“We’re excited to see E15 back in Iowa,” said Iowa RFA Executive Director Monte Shaw.
Iowa’s six E15 retailers reported earlier this year that consumers had absolutely zero issues with registered E15 fueling, labeling, and engine performance when it was previously available from September 15, 2012 through May 31, 2013. E15 was sold in the state at an average of nearly a 22-cent discount to regular (no ethanol) gasoline, and at nearly an 11-cent discount to E10, the most commonly used fuel in the nation.
In the past 14 months, E15 availability has expanded to approximately 40 stations in nine states. More than 40 million miles have been driven on E15 with no known cases of engine damage, misfueling, or liability claims. E15 is unable to be sold at any of those locations between June 1 and September 15 because the proper blendstock is unavailable due to summer volatility requirements. EPA did not waive the one-pound federal requirement that the blended product have a Reid Vapor Pressure of 9 pounds or less per square inch for E15, which limits its sale during the summer months.
“After three months of waiting, retailers with compatible equipment can finally start offering E15 if allowed by their franchises,” said Renewable Fuels Association director of market development Robert White. “Given the economy, current gas prices, new data on consumer demand and sales revenue generated by retailers who are presently offering E15, I think you will see interest increase dramatically.”
Besides Iowa, E15 retailers are also located in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina.