The nation’s second-largest maker of ethanol will team up with Ford Motor Vehicles to advertise high-ethanol fuel blends. Ford’s hurrying to make more of the cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s capable of burning ethanol blends up to 85-percent, and Lucy Norton with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says they’ll let consumers know they just might be driving a “flexible-fuel” vehicle already.
Norton says the auto industry’s making more models flexible-fuel, so a wider variety are able to run on the high-ethanol blend called E-85. Ford’s adding its F-150 pickup, the Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car to the list that can burn the high-ethanol blend.
With that growing number of vehicles on the way in the 2006 model year, the natural link’s to build more refueling sites. As more can run on E-85, they’ll have more places to fill up with it. The plan will get help from Iowa’s “Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program” that was part of the Iowa Values Fund, an economic development program created by the legislature and governor.
That program will help provide funding for gas-station owners to add a pump that dispenses E-85 and will also help distributors who’d like to sell bio-diesel fuel. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is managing that program. The money’s to be given out on a cost-share basis as a forgivable loan. It’ll help retailers upgrade a system that they have, or add a new system to offer E-85.
As the number of customers who own E-85 vehicles grows to even more than the current 93-thousand Iowa owners, there’ll be a larger customer base buying the fuel.
In addition to making the fuel more available there are plans to launch a public-awareness campaign to let owners know they’re driving a flexible-fuel vehicle, and can fill it up with the high-ethanol blend somewhere close by.
Learn more about Vera-Sun, which operates an ethanol plant in Iowa at Fort Dodge, surf to www.verasun.com