Lifted Restrictions May Support E15 Adoption

RFA says E15 will now be easier to find.

Published on: Sep 14, 2012

The last day for the Environmental Protection Agency's summer volatility restriction on gasolines is Sept. 15, and the Renewable Fuels Association says without this restriction, E15 will be more readily available.

The EPA's prior E15 approval included a summer vapor pressure restriction to 9 psi, creating the need for a specialty blendstock to create E15. This blendstock, RFA says, was more expensive and only available in limited areas.

During EPA's E15 vapor pressure restriction, which is in effect from June 1 to Sept. 15, only one Kansas retailer was able to secure this low Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline. Zarco 66, with locations in Lawrence, Kan., and Ottawa, Kan., opened in July, and offered E15 during the summer.

RFA says E15 will now be easier to find.
RFA says E15 will now be easier to find.

Robert White, RFA director of market development said eliminating the restriction will diversify consumer offerings.

"This should speed the rollout of E15 in states like Kansas, Illinois, Iowa and others because the final barrier in many states will disappear," White says. "Retailers now have the opportunity to bring yet another choice to all drivers of 2001 and newer light duty cars, trucks and SUVs, along with all flex-fuel vehicles."

Bob Dinneen, RFA's President and CEO said the first two stations in Kansas to offer E15 have shown that consumers quickly embrace this new choice.

"Overnight sales of E15 at these stations constituted more than 20% of all unleaded sales, proving that consumers are looking for options beyond fossil fuels alone," he said.

Earlier this year, E15 was approved for use in model year 2001 and newer vehicles after concerns about residual fuel left in single hose pumps were addressed. Now, retailers wishing to sell E-15 must follow approved misfueling mitigation plans to avoid issues with residual fuel.

RFA says that retailers interested in offering E15 should review retail fueling equipment standards and fuel supply for E15 sustainability.