SUMMER 2010 ISSUE


Flex 30



A branded 30 percent blend of ethanol offers Sioux Falls consumers a choice on how they fill their vehicles.




In the past life of a flex fuel vehicle owner, flexibility in fuel choice was limited. When drivers pulled up to a gas pump they had the choice to fill their vehicle with the usual options — premium unleaded, E10 (a 10 percent blend of ethanol) or E85 (an 85 percent blend of ethanol).


But six Gas Stop locations in Sioux Falls, S.D. are adding a little variety to that choice. A 30 percent blend of ethanol, called Flex 30, is now being offered. Boasting affordability and great gas mileage, this branded blend of ethanol offers a new look and a refreshing change for Sioux Falls consumers.


“Anytime we can give consumers more choices – and include more mid- and high-level blends of ethanol – that’s a good thing,” says Chris Thorne, Growth Energy’s Director of Public Affairs. “We’re hoping that what we’ll see in Sioux Falls turns out to be a trend that we can replicate across the country.”


May 24 marked the beginning of the new option for Sioux Falls drivers. With summer vacations, little league, swim meets and other travel opportunities in sight, Flex 30 offers consumers a break in their spending. The first week the fuel was offered, Flex 30 sold for $2.30 — nearly $0.50 cheaper than premium unleaded.


Gas Stop also offered consumers the opportunity for additional discounts. By signing up for email alerts, consumers were immediately sent a coupon valid for $0.30 off per gallon of Flex 30 during the days following the blitz promotion.


BRINGING FLEX 30 TO SIOUX FALLS


The choice to add Flex 30 to the pumps didn’t just come on a whim, studies have been done on the effects and efficiency of higher ethanol blends for years.


“The testing done for a 30 percent blend has been very positive,” says Tom Howes, owner of I-90 Fuel Services, Inc. and The Gas Stop locations that have added the new Flex 30 blend.


“We wanted to give consumers another fuel choice to use in their flex fuel vehicles.”


According to the 2007 Fuel Economy Study, it was found that higher blends of ethanol (20-30 percent) out-performed gasoline in fuel economy for certain vehicles. Of the four vehicles that were tested in the study, three achieved their highest fuel efficiency on the ethanol blends rather than straight gasoline. Even standard, non-flex fuel vehicles tested well on blends that were over 10 percent.


“The 30 percent blend is a better opportunity for selling higher proportions of ethanol,” Thorne says. “In market testing of Flex Fuel Vehicle users who fuel up at blender pumps, we’ve found that Flex 30 is the preferred choice, for price and for mileage. So by promoting Flex 30, we’re testing the market further for a response to a specific branding and promotional effort.”


The study also found that emissions of CO2 showed improvement over gasoline in most ethanol blends, with significant emission reductions shown when using the vehicle’s optimal ethanol blend level.


ECONOMICAL AND ECO-FRIENDLY


The addition of Flex 30 allows consumers to add some green to their gasoline giving them the chance to not only help the environment, but their local economy. Living in a region of the country that thrives in agriculture and is leading the charge for corn ethanol, Howes had the local economy in mind as well.


“With all of our locations in the Corn Belt, we wanted to put a product on the market that could support the local economy as well,” Howes says.


According to Thorne, ethanol is not only the smart choice to make for the environment, but for our children.


“Domestic ethanol creates U.S. jobs — jobs that cannot be outsourced,” Thorne says. “And in small communities in the Midwest, where economic opportunity is rare for young people with advanced degrees, ethanol biorefineries create jobs that mean they can stay close to home instead of moving away for work.”


To do your part in helping our nation become cleaner, greener and find the nearest Gas Stop Flex 30 location, visit www.gasstopflex30.com.





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