By Ron Lamberty, Director of Marketing, American Coalition for Ethanol | June 01, 2022
Come on man. Of the nearly 8 billion people on the planet, almost all 8 billion don’t care to sell E15 and will never come to this site or read this article. But here you are. Heck, you might even be here Again… look at E15 like a small child looks at a puppy in the pet store window. You think the E15 might be a good opportunity for your convenience store or gas station, but for some reason you can’t pull the trigger. Why not?
Afraid of being bitten by the cost of adding E15? …or what do you think the cost might be? Are you worried that you won’t be allowed to sell it? Not sure if your gear can handle E15? Not sure if anyone will buy it? And responsibility. We have all heard of accountability. The good news is that you are meant to be scared. The oil companies have spent a lot of time and money to scare you into even considering E15. The best news is that none of the things they advertised have happened in the 10 years the E15 has been selling, so you can stop being such a fearful cat.
Step One: Put your pump and equipment installer to work. Tell them you want to sell E15 using your existing tanks and lines and, if possible, your existing distributors. Step 1A is while you wait for the offer, go to https://flexfuelforward.com/toolkit/flexcheck/ and use the Flex Check tool to check the compatibility of as much of your own stuff as possible. This way you will know if your Pump and Tank guy is being honest with you when the offer comes back.
If you need new gear or really want to update your stuff, keep in mind the USDA will announce (I swear they said it would be late spring/early summer ) An additional $100 million in infrastructure grants for ethanol blends above 10%. . Last time, the USDA cost-shared 50% on qualifying aboveground equipment and 25% on the cost of tanks. The application process can be a bear, but there are plenty of people available to help you get your hands on some of that dough. If you go to flexfuelforward.com and enter your email address, we’ll send you the grant details right after the USDA announces them.
And it’s possible – likely, really – that you already have most of the equipment needed to store and distribute E15. Contrary to the scare stories you’ve heard time and time again, a large percentage of underground storage tanks and lines are compatible with ethanol blends above 10%. In general, underground reservoirs listed for “gas and alcohol mixtures” define such mixtures as any combination of gas and/or ethanol, up to 100% of each. The 15% ethanol in E15 is well under 100% and just over 10% – even though alarmists want to insist on E15 having 50% more ethanol than E10. They are not wrong, but we can also make calculations. Almost all tanks are built and guaranteed to handle 900% more ethanol than E10. This makes E15 18 times safer than the highest approved blend for storage in most tanks.
If you still can’t decide, ask another retailer that already sells E15 and/or flex fuels. You can find some of their stories at flexfuelforward.com, and we’ll be happy to connect you with other marketers who have done some of the things you’re thinking of doing. They can tell you what was easy, what was difficult, what always causes problems, and what problems they expected but never encountered. E15 don’t bite and your Uncle Sam will pay half. It’s time to buy that pu