Minnesota is one of the leading ethanol-producing states in the United States, and has long been number one in retail locations selling E85, the ethanol blend intended for flex fuel vehicles only. Lately, it’s another blend of ethanol that is really building momentum in Minnesota: 88 Octane.
The history of 88 Octane gasoline (also known as E15) in Minnesota is something to behold. In a matter of five years, Minnesota has opened more E15 retail locations than any other state. It is an example of how policy, consumer demand, and a responsive industry can thrust a fledgling idea into the limelight.
The E15 boom in Minnesota can be traced back to October 2013, when Penn Minnoco in south Minneapolis became the first station to offer gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend. The move captured a lot of local and regional media attention, and soon other station owners were asking how they too could offer E15 fuel to their customers.
The cleaner-burning blend got another boost in 2015, when the United States Department of Agriculture awarded Minnesota a grant as part the “Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership” or BIP. The goal of the grant was to expand biofuel infrastructure and availability to consumers by helping retailers install new pumps capable of dispensing ethanol blended fuels, retrofitting older pumps for ethanol, and installing new storage tanks and other equipment compatible with ethanol fuels.
E15 offers Minnesota drivers a homegrown solution. Ethanol fuels produce fewer emissions than traditional petroleum gasoline, and ethanol is a renewable fuel. Five years after its debut at just one fuel station in south Minneapolis, E15 has seen widespread growth in Minnesota and consumers can find it at more and more stations.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first E15 retail station in the state (Penn Minnoco), there is a fuel discount and promotion today at another Minnoco location that recently added ethanol blend options at their pumps. Stop by for $0.20 off per gallon of 88 Octane E15 or $0.95 off per gallon of E85 if you drive a flex fuel vehicle! Then use this search function to find the location nearest you to regularly fuel up.