Sheetz recently announced that it will become the first chain retailer in Pennsylvania to carry environmentally friendly E85, a clean-burning fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The corn-based, renewable fuel will soon be available at select Pittsburgh Sheetz locations, thanks to a collaborative partnership with General Motors Corporation, VeraSun Energy Corporation, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Sheetz will offer VeraSun’s branded E85, VE85, at select stores in the Pittsburgh area, starting with its Pleasant Hills store on Route 51 (Clairton Blvd.) and Lewis Run Road, across the street from Bowser Pontiac in Pittsburgh. Two additional Sheetz stores will offer E85 later this year with more locations to follow."
Sheetz is proud to be the first large retail chain in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to offer VE85, an ethanol-based alternative fuel. We expect to be able to offer the fuel to our customers at a lower price than 87 octane," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing, Sheetz. "We thank VeraSun for helping us make this homegrown, renewable fuel available to our customers. We appreciate the support of Governor Rendell, GM and our partners in promoting E85’s availability and working to increase consumer awareness."
The announcement was made recently at an event in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell participated in the official announcement.
"One of the biggest obstacles to greater use of E85 is availability especially at the retail level. Here in Pennsylvania, we are leading the charge to greater accessibility as the first state in the Northeast to open publicly available retail E85 stations," Governor Rendell said. "This is a good step forward and we commend GM, VeraSun and Sheetz on their efforts to increase awareness of this viable alternative fuel and help drive consumer demand in our state."
VeraSun Energy, the nation’s second largest ethanol producer, has partnered with GM and retail partners in other states to make E85 more available and bring awareness and credibility to this emerging, renewable alternative fuel.
"Working with GM and Sheetz to promote VE85, we’re confident that Pennsylvania consumers will quickly recognize and appreciate the benefits of using this ethanol-based renewable fuel, which reduces our dependence on foreign oil, contributes to our domestic economy, and burns cleaner than regular gasoline," said Bill Honnef, VeraSun’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
General Motors manufactures E85 flexible fuel vehicles, which can run on ethanol or gasoline, and is committed to increasing the awareness and availability of E85 to consumers through marketing initiatives and dealer outreach. Since May 2005, GM has announced partnerships with states and fuel providers around the country and expects to help launch more than 160 new E85 fueling locations by the end of 2006.
"GM already has more than two million vehicles on the road today that are capable of using E85 fuel," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. "We appreciate VeraSun and Sheetz for joining our efforts to make this great fuel alternative available to more people. We also appreciate the support of Gov. Rendell and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as we continue to promote the use of E85 ethanol and its many benefits for the environment, the economy and consumers."
E85 flexible fuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.