E-85, Is It Being Underutilized?

Within 25 miles of downtown Rockford only five gas stations offer E-85 fuel. The Phillips 66 on Alpine and Sandy Hallow is one of them. While dozens of drivers came and went to fill up on regular unleaded, the e-85 pump sat dormant for over an hour and a half on Wednesday. So why the inactivity?

State Representative Ron Wait said, “A lot of people have those cars but don’t realize they have the ability to use it already, so I encourage them to look at the gas tank cover.”

Private and public entities have pushed alternative fuel, and continue to find new ways to get the information out. Norb Ziemer or AgTech based out of Belvidere is one of those people.

“We are currently working on a news letter that can be spread out and shared. We may be getting a poll of consumers; to see if they are interested in bio based (fuel)”

There is some evidence that the effort is making ground. Mark Pusjahn delivers e-85 to gas stations all over northern Illinois, and has noticed an increase in activity.

“There's times when we come in here and they will be just three or four deep trying to get at the e-85.”

Pusjahn has also seen gas stations replace their tanks holding slow selling fuel like diesel or premium grade unleaded.

The current lack of activity probably has to do will lower gas prices. But when regular unleaded starts to head back towards three dollars a gallon, the yellow pump handle will surely see more action.


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