February 26, 2003
GM partners with ethanol vehicle coalition to promote use of E85
Charlotte, North Carolina – General Motors announced a new, multi-million dollar campaign to promote the use of corn-based ethanol fuel E85 as an alternative to gasoline. The public awareness effort is a 2-year partnership with the non-profit National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) focused on increasing ethanol use in flexible fuel vehicles. Flexible fuel vehicles are designed to use either ethanol or gasoline; E85 Flexible Fuel Vehicles can be powered by gasoline or a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
According to Phil Lampert, executive director of the NEVC, “The limited number of ethanol fueling stations available – about 140 in 22 primarily Midwestern states – make it a challenge for people to utilize this alternative fuel source. We believe this effort will help increase the use of ethanol, which will benefit the environment and help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil.”
The ethanol promotion effort, announced today at the NEVC annual meeting, will begin in six key states: Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. The campaign will include a variety of tactics, including information made available to customers at dealerships, direct mail, advertising and on-line activities.
Ethanol is alcohol that is currently made from domestically produced corn. It costs about the same and delivers performance similar to regular gasoline. Throughout the past 5 years, the demand for E85 has increased ten-fold to about 10 million gallons a year.
“Every gallon of ethanol used reduces our reliance on foreign oil,” said Phil Lampert. “Our hope is that by increasing awareness we can help solve the chicken and egg problem – spurring more market demand which will lead to more fueling stations, and ultimately, more E85 vehicles on the road.”
Today, ethanol made from corn reduces the demand for imported oil by 98,000 barrels per day — representing a $1.1 billion reduction in the U.S. trade deficit. In the future, production of ethanol can come from bio-mass such as corn and wheat stalks and forestry waste. Ethanol is an alternative to imported petroleum because it is made from renewable resources and it does not deplete petroleum energy supplies.
“E85 alternative fuel is only beginning to become available in many areas,” said Gary Herwick, director of alternative fuels for General Motors. “Working together, we can make a difference when it comes to alternative fuels. GM is manufacturing E85 compatible vehicles and we are encouraging industry and consumers to do their part by continuing to develop the E85 infrastructure, and by using E85 in their GM Flexible Fuel Vehicles whenever possible.”
There are currently more than 3 million E85 vehicles on American roads — more than 1 million of them produced by GM. All GM full size SUVs equipped with the Vortec 5300 engine are E85-capable, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full size pickups also are available with E85 capability.
The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition is a coalition of corn growers, ethanol producers and auto manufacturers based in Jefferson City, Missouri. For more information, visit www.e85fuel.com http://www.e85fuel.com.