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Big growth in E15 expected in the US by 2021

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More than 2,800 US retail sites will offer E15 by 2021, generating approximately 350 million new ethanol gallons annually. The figures come from a report released by Growth Energy on 20 June.

Growth Energy’s new report touts the success of both E15 and Prime the Pump, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of higher biofuel blends in the US.

“Thanks to the hard work and generosity of participants in the Prime the Pump programme, American consumers can purchase E15 at more than 1,400 locations across 30 states,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

“American drivers have logged more than 4 billion miles on E15, because when we give them a better option, consumers are choosing E15 again and again.”

Other key stats from Growth Energy’s one-pager on Prime the Pump include the revelation that the number of retail stations offering E15 has doubled four years in a row, and that retailers with E15 on tap sell 30-40% more ethanol than the average E10 station.

Skor pointed out that legislative change would be needed to tap the full potential of E15.

“All this momentum is at risk unless we get Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief to unleash the full potential of E15, because this RVP issue isn’t just about a 3-month dip in sales,” Skor said.

Every summer, the Reid Vapour Pressure restriction sees the US Environmental Protection Agency ban the use of E15 in many parts of the country from 1 June through to 15 September. It is part of the Clean Air Act to restrict the evaporative emissions of fuel.

“It’s a major obstruction for those going the extra mile to expand into new markets and grow our industry. Retailers in many markets simply can’t or won’t retool their labels and fuel offerings each summer, which means that E15 is off the menu all year what’s at stake is 7 billion new gallons of ethanol demand,” Skor concluded.