General Motors Announces Collaboration With State Of Colorado To Bring More E85 Ethanol Stations To The State
Colorado E85 Coalition Plans for Forty New E85 Ethanol Stations—Largest One-Time Announcement To-Date
DENVER – General Motors and Governor Bill Ritter’s Colorado E85 Coalition today announced plans for the addition of forty new E85 ethanol fueling locations to be opened throughout the state by the end of 2007. The new fueling locations will be promoted by GM as part of a broader, ongoing national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the United States . The announcement was made at the State Capitol during an event presided over by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, GM executives, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
"I commend General Motors, our retail partners, the Coalition, and local organizations including the Colorado Corn Growers for making alternative fuels more widely available to Colorado drivers. The Coalition’s goal to increase alternative fuel awareness and infrastructure statewide bring Coloradans more options and reasons for choosing biofuels. These are the necessary steps to support new energy economies and decrease our oil dependence," said Gov. Ritter.
Colorado’s plans for adding an additional forty stations to the existing thirteen E85 fueling locations is significant since it is the largest one-time announcement made by GM and any state partner to-date. Noteworthy to Colorado’s efforts, and which other states will benefit from, is how collaboration with state government leadership is important to help ensure E85 ethanol can be made more widely available to consumers at a time when Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has temporarily suspended authorization for manufacturers to use UL Markings on E85 fuel dispensing devices. Working together, the Fire Marshals’ Association of Colorado (FMAC), the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety, the Colorado Division of Fire Safety and the Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) were able to develop appropriate guidelines for local jurisdictions to continue to use E85 fuel dispensers until UL resumes listing fuel dispensing equipment.
“We appreciate the efforts of Governor Ritter and the OEMC to support E85 ethanol and we commend the fire marshals for developing a state-wide plan to continue to make this great fuel alternative available in Colorado as UL progresses with testing and certification,” said Elizabeth Lowery, Vice President of Environment and Energy, General Motors. “At GM, we believe that the biofuel with the greatest potential to displace petroleum-based fuels in the U.S. is ethanol and we have made a major commitment to vehicles that can run on E85 ethanol—with over two million of our FlexFuel vehicles on the road today and plans to expand production going forward. We will continue to work with government, organizations and retailers to promote increased use and awareness of E85 ethanol across the country.”
As part of the partnership, GM will promote the availability of the fuel with consumer and dealer outreach. Local GM dealers will help promote these new refueling stations whenever customers purchase flex-fuel vehicles. Today’s announcement is part of a nationwide effort by GM to help grow the E85 ethanol fueling station infrastructure. Since May of 2005, GM has announced partnerships in 12 states ( South Dakota , California , Texas , Illinois , Minnesota , Michigan , Indiana , Ohio , Pennsylvania , Florida , New York and Virginia ) to locate more than 200 E85 fueling pumps at stations around the country.
The goals of the Colorado E85 Coalition depend upon strategic partnerships with key retailers like Pester Marketing and Western Convenience. These two retailers are announcing today that they are committed to respectively opening twelve and ten E85 ethanol—as well as some biodiesel—fueling sites this year.
Rich Spresser, Executive Vice President, Pester Marketing added, “As the number of flex fuel vehicles on Colorado roads continues to increase, Pester is pleased to be able to provide our customers with convenience while supporting the use of cleaner burning fuels, like E85 ethanol.”
“Western Convenience is proud to offer its customers and the many Colorado motorists greater access to E85 fuel,” said Bob Van Meter, Director of Operations, Western Convenience. “Our 10 sites will make alternative fuels available across the state.”
Also commenting on today’s announcement, John Mizroch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy said, "The Department of Energy congratulates Governor Ritter’s Colorado E85 Coalition and General Motors in the formation of this partnership to promote renewable biofuels for consumers at more retail locations. Recently, DOE awarded the Coalition nearly $400,000 for increasing alternative fuel infrastructure development and usage in Colorado . All of these efforts will help our nation to wean itself from its addiction to oil by providing consumers with domestically grown and produced fuel choices like E85 ethanol."
In celebration of today’s announcement, GM will be funding discounted E85 fuel promotions at a local fuel station. For today only, E85 ethanol will be available for 85 cents per gallon between the hours of 3-5 p.m. at Hill Petroleum Sinclair Oil Station, 6301 W. 58 th Ave, Arvada, CO 80002.
GM’s E85 partnership and marketing campaign are designed to encourage greater E85 use and showcase GM’s E85 FlexFuel vehicle leadership to U.S. consumers. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Today, GM has over two million E85 FlexFuel vehicles on the road in all 50 states, and will produce more this year. For the 2007 model year, GM is offering 16 E85 ethanol-capable vehicle models, with an annual production of more than 400,000 vehicles. This is more than any other manufacturer.
GM believes that developing alternative sources of energy and propulsion is the key to mitigating many of the issues surrounding energy availability. Producing E85 FlexFuel vehicles is one part of GM’s strategy to help reduce the use of petroleum and also reduce vehicle emissions. GM’s strategy also includes improving the efficiency of the traditional internal combustion engine with technologies available today; and developing electrically-driven vehicles such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles.