Minnesota's fleet of vehicles is using more E85 than ever, according to a new quarterly report from the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee, a group tasked with helping to reduce the state's use of petroleum fuels in favor of cleaner-burning fuels such as E85 and biodiesel. In the first quarter of 2009, more than 12 percent of the total fuel used by the state's light-duty vehicles was E85, an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend. The 150,000 gallons of E85 consumed during the three months represents a 37 percent increase over the same period last year, fleet officials said.
The report comes on the heels of Minnesota's move to a five percent biodiesel blend (B5) at all diesel retail outlets statewide. That move was widely hailed by environmentalists, farm organizations, the Minnesota Trucking Association, and the American Lung Association in Minnesota.
"It is very gratifying to see real progress in the state's ongoing efforts to reduce the use of petroleum fuels and to opt for a clean air choice like E85 whenever possible," said Kelly Marczak, director of the Clean Air Choice program for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. "We estimate that the E85 used to fuel the state's 2,500 flexible fuel vehicles prevented nearly 600 tons of lifecycle greenhouse gases and other emissions from entering the air. With more than 2,500 flexible fuel vehicles currently in the state fleet, the opportunity to reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions is significant."
Minnesota has more than 360 E85 outlets, more than any other state. A complete list of the retailers and more information on the American Lung Association in Minnesota Clean Air Choice program can be found at www.CleanAirChoice.org.