General Motors today announced that it would extend its partnership with the Governors Ethanol Coalition (GEC)—a bipartisan group of governors devoted to the promotion and increased use of ethanol—to provide several new E85-capable vehicles for use in GEC member states.

GM presented the keys for a 2007 E85-capable Chevrolet Tahoe to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) for use in Texas to promote ethanol and E85-capable vehicles.

"We are delighted to continue our work with the GEC on this important campaign to promote the use of E85 in states across the country," said Ken W. Cole, vice president for law and public policy at General Motors. "This partnership is just one of our many efforts to minimize the impact of our cars and trucks on the environment, including the 1.5 million GM vehicles already capable of using E85 fuel. GM will continue to work with organizations like the GEC to promote the use of E85 and the many available benefits for the environment, the economy and consumers."

"The GEC member states are excited to continue this successful partnership with GM to promote E85 capable vehicles across the country and we appreciate GM’s support of our mission to increase ethanol use," said GEC Chairman and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "Ethanol has the potential to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported energy resources and improve the environment while also creating more jobs—particularly in our country’s rural areas. GM should be commended for its strong commitment to promoting its use."

This collaborative effort, which was launched in early 2005, is designed to increase awareness of ethanol and flexible fuel vehicles, and to promote the increased use of E85 as a renewable, alternative transportation fuel that is able to meet the demands of today’s drivers. Last year, GM loaned E85 flex-fuel vehicles to 28 states and organizations in order to demonstrate its commitment to ethanol, and educate the public and promote the benefits of using E85. GM is beginning delivery of its 2007 vehicles this month, starting with today’s presentation in Texas. Recipients will showcase the E85 capable vehicles in various ways and events throughout the year.

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.

Research has shown that many owners of flex-fuel vehicles do not know that their vehicles are capable of using E85. In January, GM announced a sweeping consumer education and advertising campaign in Washington, D.C. aimed at promoting the benefits of E85 and GM’s flexible fuel vehicle leadership, and encouraging consumers to actively promote E85 in their communities.

With 1.5 million flexible-fuel vehicles already on the road, GM is a leader in flexible-fuel vehicle production and sales. GM has nine models that are E85-capable, and plans to add more than 400,000 E85-capable vehicles to the fleet in 2006. At the same time, worldwide production of ethanol is increasing every year, and is expected to triple by 2020.

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