Reaching retailers to foster the adoption of higher ethanol blends

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has been working with retailer education when it comes to utilizing and accessing higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85. ACE’s Flex Fuel Forward website is a resource for retailers by retailers.

Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President of Market Development, said the organization launched a new tool for retailers, helping them determine the compatibility of existing station equipment with E15.

“A huge number of retailers have E15 compatible equipment and could sell it tomorrow without a big investment,” Lamberty said. “But they don’t know, and most haven’t even checked, because API, AFPM, oil companies and petroleum marketer groups have been telling station owners their equipment isn’t compatible with E15 since it was approved, and replacing it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just want them to check because a lot of them will be shocked to find out they can add E15 for next to nothing.”

The National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) provided funding for Flex Fuel Forward, helping fund updates like Flex Check.

“We’re constantly adapting our market development outreach to provide new information and tools that will give retailers the best chance of success adopting and profitably marketing higher ethanol blends,” Lamberty said. “The goal is moving significant new ethanol volume, and widespread station conversions will move the needle farther and faster than new construction – and at a much lower cost. So, we have to help inspire those conversions. Tools like Flex Check arm retailers with information to give them the confidence they can offer higher ethanol blends without breaking the bank and other flexfuelforward.com information helps them succeed when they make the change.”

 Many recognizable brands across the country, such as Casey’s General Store, Sheetz, Pump & Pantry and Kwik Trip, sell E15 and/or E85 and continue to expand their offerings at new or existing locations.

“Funds provided by NCGA and state corn groups have helped ACE create more user-friendly versions of assets on the site and promote those tools to fuel marketers who might not know about them otherwise,” Lamberty said “ETHAT funds help us expand our reach to more retailers with advertising in convenience store and petroleum industry publications and websites, and a presence at tradeshows and educational workshops pre-pandemic and whenever we’re allowed to go to those events again.”

Flex Fuel Forward shares stories from these retailers on why they sell higher ethanol blends and help dispel myths that exist.

“As a corn farmer and retail gas station owner myself, I know how important it is to have a trusted resource for information I can rely on to know what’s happening in the industry and where I can go for the most up-to-date information,” said Gary Porter, Missouri farmer and NCGA Corn Board Member. “Websites like Flex Fuel Forward are key to getting E15 and E85 in the marketplace.”

 To learn more about Flex Fuel Forward and the Flex Check tool, go to www.flexfuelforward.com.

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