E15 fuel makes its way to the Nebraska Panhandle

Source: By NBC Nebraska • Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. A fuel containing 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, otherwise known as E15, has made its way to the Panhandle. Western Travel Terminal in Scottsbluff began selling the fuel on September 18th in place of E85.

The EPA has approved all vehicles 2001 and newer to use E15.  According to RFA Analysis, automakers have approved E15 in more than 80% of new 2017 vehicles. However, not all automakers have approved it in every model.

“You have to make sure your vehicle is made for the alcohol content. That’s why you have the flex fuel vehicles and so it’s very important that you make sure you check with your owner’s manual or call your dealership and say am I able to use this fuel without any problems,” said Larry Russel, Owner of Russel’s Automotive.

The University of Nebraska got behind E15 with their new Husker Fuel program. The ethanol board approached Western Travel Terminal to see if they were interested.

“Ecological advantages of burning ethanol verses regular fuel for the environment and especially for our farmer economy because of course they’re using corn to make the ethanol,” said Roger Garwood, CEO of Western Travel Terminal.

Nebraska is the second highest producing ethanol state in the country behind Iowa. Western Travel Terminal is the first and the only retailer in the Panhandle with this husker fuel.

“I want this valley to prosper and part of the prospering is to be able to sell their product when they grow it. So if this can be expanded and be used properly I’d be more for it, just for the economy of our valley and for the good of our farmers here,” added Russel.

The fuel is six cents cheaper than E10, but also gets a few less miles to the gallon.

“We feel that the business is going to be transferred from the E10 business to E15. We thought this would be a good way to test that market here,” added Garwood.

According to Russel, there are some foreign manufacturers that will void the warranty if a higher ethanol fuel is used then they allow.

A sign is posted in front of the pump dispensing E15 as a warning for those with vehicles not approved to use it.