Minneapolis, Nov 3 – In a landmark development for Minnesota’s ethanol industry, there are now 202 stations in the state that offer E15.
In the past two weeks, several stations in the Twin Cities metro area and in Rochester and Mankato have begun offering E15, bringing the total number of stations with E15 to 202.
“The EPA approved the use of E15 in all cars 2001 and newer in 2012 and in 2013, there were only four stations in Minnesota offering E15. In the past 10 months, 141 stations throughout the state have begun offering E15,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
In 2014, there were 17 stations offering E15 in Minnesota. In 2015, that total rose to 27 and nearly tripled to 61 stations in 2016.
Rudnicki said among the factors that led to an exponential growth in the number of stations offering E15 this year included federal and state grants, continued outreach to stations from organizations like the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association as well as increasing demand from consumers.
“Major fuel-retailer brands began carrying E15 at their respective stations this year where in the past most of the stations offering E15 were independently-owned. This played a major role in expanding access to E15 throughout the state,” he said.
Among the fuel retail brands currently offering E15 at select stations in Minnesota include Kwik Trip, Minnoco, Holiday, SuperAmerica, Little Dukes, Winner, Hy-Vee, Cenex, Bobby & Steve’s, Kum & Go, Petro Serve, Clark and Tesoro.
Rudnicki said the bulk of the stations offering E15 in Minnesota are located within the Twin Cities metro area with 73 stations.
“E15 is also available in other major cities in Minnesota such as Rochester, Duluth, St Cloud and Mankato,” he said.
According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, E15 sales in the state this year (as at the end of August) has totaled 6.45 million gallons, breaching the 6-million-gallon mark for the first time. In 2016, the E15 volume in Minnesota was 5.68 million gallons.
E15 – also branded as Unleaded Plus at many retail stations in Minnesota – has an octane rating of 88, emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions and is produced in the state.
According to an analysis by the University of Illinois at Chicago, if all fuel consumed in Minnesota was E15, 1.07 million metric tons of CO2 would be reduced annually. This would be the equivalent of removing 225,894 cars annually from Minnesota’s roads.