The Kum & Go convenience store chain announced it is going to start offering E-15 blended gasoline at a location in metro Des Moines Thursday and eventually offer the fuel at 65 more locations in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Lucy Norton is the managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
“They will be the first Iowa-based retail change to offer E-15 which is approved for 2001 and newer vehicles, ” Norton says. “The announcement is really going to set the stage for the future. This is going to be a game changer, we think.”
The EPA approved the use of the E-15 blend of gasoline after years of use of E-10 blends. “E-15 is 15-percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline, so it is just 5-percent more ethanol than we’ve been buying since the late 70’s when E-10 was introduced. E-15 will be higher in octane, and it will be the lowest cost fuel available to Iowans who own a 2001 and newer vehicle,” Norton says.
Iowa is the leader in ethanol production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons. Norton expects drivers to choose the E-15 blend because of its price. “They’ll see no negligible difference in their mileage or their drivability, but what they will see is more money in their pocket, because it’s going to be priced very competitively and it’s going to be cheaper than E-10 and it’s going to be significantly cheaper than just straight gasoline,” according to Norton.
A Kum & Go store in Windsor Heights will be the first to offer E-15, and Norton says it will be another fuel option as more of the stores start offering it at the pump.
“They are going to continue to offer E-10, they are adding E-15, and at many of these locations they will also be offering E-85,” Norton explains. “So, consumers will have a choice of ethanol blends, depending on the vehicle that they drive.” The addition of the new store will bring the total that offer E-15 across the state to 32.
You can find a list of stations selling E-15 on the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website.