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Rack

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Everything posted by Rack

  1. Jumped the gun there, the Griffith East Family Express had their open house this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, and finally opened for real yesterday/Thursday. I don't expect prices to be low there since Family Express raised all prices chain-wide on Monday to $2.699 for E10 and $2.099 for flex-fuel/E85, which I think is 70% this time of year. E15 prices they are still experimenting with, sometime 2 cents less, sometimes 5 cents less. Sometimes E10 is their "base" price at $2.699, sometimes E15 is their base price pushing E10 to $2.719. I did swing by the open house for the free food at least and they do sell E15 as Regular 88: Family Express pump at Griffith East Casey's flex-fuel was $1.849, which was the best deal I could find in the area, their E15 is prices at 5 cents below E10, as always.
  2. Finally seeing prices from the Griffith Family Express, I think it's actually open now!: http://www.garygasprices.com/Family_Express_Gas_Stations/Griffith/198316/index.aspx Looks like E10 is priced 25 cents less than midgrade, and 50 cents less than premium, which implies that E15 is 5 cents less than E10. Other FE stations price their E15 instead at 25 cents less than midgrade and 50 cents below premium, with their E10 +2 cents more than E15. With the perks card 10 cent grand opening discount, that puts E15 down at 1.94, which is slightly better than 1.98 E10 in BTU/dollar. Lowest price in the region for E10 is 1.99, might be time to buy some E15 again!
  3. Yep, 5 cents! Most Family Express stations have a 5 cent spread. I think there's one in Indy with a 10 cent spread, even my Saint John location was at a 5 cent spread when it opened. The Casey's maintains a 5 cent spread, as does the Murphy's in the area. I'm seeing more and more FE spots doing the 2 cent spread, and as the prices are set at corporate, it must be some sort of price experiment. The Thornton's stations in the area are also going with a 2 cent spread.
  4. Another couple of E15 stations opened here in the past few days, both Family Video locations turned into Family Express spots, and one of the stores is selling E10 at $1.819. With the usual FE Grand Opening 10 cent per gallon discount, that pushes the price down to $1.719. Another couple of cents lower and a 3 cent discount for E15 would be energy-neutral. I will have to swing by and check what the spread is, it could be 5 cents, but it could be 2 cents, Family Express has been known to do both. My local E15 station is the Family Express in Saint John. They only have the Regular 88/E15 price on their big LED sign, and seemingly are basing their midgrade and premium prices off of their E15 price (+25 cents, +50 cents), and then pricing E10 2 cents more than E15. They are trying hard to make E15 "happen". It'd happen faster if they'd price it correctly!
  5. Well, it's deep into winter blend season, and prices on E10 are low enough that even at 4 cents less, you'd be better off buying E15. So my local Family Express reduced the spread to 2 cents between E10 and E15. More E10 for me, $2.189 a gallon with perks card!
  6. 20 cent spread down to 10 cents at Indiana Speedways, could we see price parity soon? Meanwhile IBEC down in Rensselaer is selling E85 for $1.499 a gallon. I wonder if it's actually 85% ethanol these days, it is mighty cold out!
  7. 30 cent Indiana Speedway spreads down to 20 cents with E10 at $2.459, and my local Family Express is going with a 2 cent spread on E10 and E15. More E10 for me! Illinois Speedways are down to a 50 cent spread, would have to check if it's worth buying at 70% ethanol/volatility class 3, since it's November.
  8. 40 cent spreads at Indiana Speedways down to 30 cents with E10 at $2.49 a gallon. How low can gas go!
  9. E10 prices so low, Indiana Speedways are adjusting again! The 50 cent difference is down to 40 cents. They just don't want to sell that E85 for cheaps. I also posted on my math on E15/E10 BTU numbers here: http://e85vehicles.com/e85/index.php?/topic/7196-unleaded-88-coming-your-way/&tab=comments#comment-46603
  10. From the last line: E10price = $0.05*(111836/1973) = $2.834 It's the price difference and the energy difference that sets the break-even price. If the price difference was 6 cents, it would be: E10price = $0.06*(111836/1973) = $3.401 making E15 a better deal just about everywhere. If it was 4 cents, it would be: E10price = $0.04*(111836/1973) = $2.267 Which is hard to find anywhere these days. It seems that E15 at a nickel less per gallon is priced exactly where it should be, to offer a (slightly) better deal on BTU/dollar, encouraging purchase and use. It'd be a much better deal at 6 cents; you'd have to find a reason not to use E15 at that price spread!
  11. When should you buy E15? Depends on your metric! I try to go for miles per dollar, or cheapest GGE. So how do you figure that out? Assume that you'll get nothing out of the extra octane (though you might get better mileage from better timing/less anti-knock retardation), and just focus on the energy content. We'll need to figure that out. I like in Lake County, IN, which is just outside Chicago. That's important because that means the gasoline is reformulated, so the energy content is slightly different. Wikipedia lists the energy content of a gallon of RFE10 at 111,836 BTU. A gallon of pure ethanol, E100, is listed at 76330BTU/gallon on energy.gov. So far, so good! So how much would a gallon of E15 have? Well, it's part E10 and part E100, let's find out how much of each. E10 is 9 parts gasoline to 1 part ethanol. E15 is 85% gasoline. So the E10's amount's gasoline will be the 85% part and the remaining ethanol in the E10 will be 1/9 of that amount. 85*(10/9) makes 94 4/9 percent E10. Add 5 5/9 percent E100 and that will make up all 100% of the E15 mixture. 111,836*.944444 + 76330*.055555 is 109,863BTU/gal. Around here, E15 is usually 5 cents less a gallon than E10. So at what prices per gallon is the energy content per dollar equal? Or at what prices will your $20 of E15 have the same BTUs and propel you the same distance as your $20 of E10? E15price*E15gallons=E10price*E10gallons E15price = E10price - $0.05 109863*E15gallons =111836*E10gallons or E15gallons = (111836/109863)*E10gallons (E10price - $0.05)*(111836/109863)*E10gallons = E10price*E10gallons A=(111836/109863) (E10price - $0.05)*A = E10price A*E10price - E10price = $0.05A E10price(A-1) = $0.05A A - 1 = 1973/109863 E10price = $0.05*(111836/109863)*(109863/1973) E10price = $0.05*(111836/1973) = $2.834 Okay! So at an E10 price of $2.834 a gallon, and an E15 price of $2.784 a gallon, you will get an equal amount of energy per dollar. If the E10 price is lower than $2.834, you should buy E15 if the difference between the two is 5 cents (a very common spread around here). That makes sense, since if E10 were $0.10 and E15 were $0.05, you'd get twice as many E15 gallons and energy than E10.
  12. Those little gas cards went on an adventure! Half arrived just fine, but the other half (like the ones I won on June 20 and July 2) were misaddressed, and instead of returning to Kelsey in St. Louis were returned-to-sender to Washington DC. I think mine went up to Michigan (instead of Indiana) before ending up in DC. Tracking numbers are wonderful!
  13. I was checking prices recently, and saw something unusual. Yesterday, E10 prices took a dip, and I checked my BTU numbers. If my numbers are good, E15 is a better buy at under $2.824 if there's a fixed 5 cent difference. With E10 at $2.599 around here, that puts E15 in the better buy category. That didn't push E85 prices down like I thought, though. Family Express doesn't go by fixed difference pricing on E85. So it's still the same $2.099. What about stations like Speedway with a fixed spread? 60 in Indiana, 80 in Illinois, right? Well, that held, for like 1 day. Then they realized that they were selling E85 for $1.759 a gallon in Illinois, so they just changed all the spreads. 80 cents dropped to 60 cents in IL for the most part. 60 cent spreads in Indiana became 50 cents. So if you're in a fixed-spread area, you have to watch for price spikes *and* dips. Just one more thing to look out for.
  14. https://www.cspdailynews.com/fuels-news-prices-analysis/fuels-news/articles/which-retailers-passed-failed-e15-e85?page=0%2C1 Just relinking the story in question. If you caught this article: http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/15498/on-the-brandwagon you might have noticed Casey's General Store in there, saying that they had 40 E15 stations and 10 to 15 on the way. I looked around for them, and added 10 of them to E85prices myself yesterday. A lot of them were only months or even weeks old, and every single one of them also sold E85. Given that Casey's has about 2000 locations, 40 would be a solid 2% and putting them on the way to 2.5%-2.75% of their locations selling E15, and likely will sell E85 as well. 2%, that's a D+ on the scale, working on a C-! Anyway, chains that were getting Fs on this report cards are definitely bringing up their grades, although in a roundabout away for us E85 lovers. E15 seems to be the skinny edge of the wedge. Once Unleaded 88 takes off, it's not too far a leap to go to Unleaded 95 to meet the possible 95 RON standard (nevermind that the 88 in Unleaded 88 is .5*(R+M) and not RON, the branding will smooth all that over!). How much ethanol will it have? Beats me, E25-ish, somewhere around there. I'm sure all those European cars designed for 95 RON will love it, though. And that is a big market.
  15. Now that RVP season is almost over, here are some recent links on the rebranding of E15. They're going with Unleaded88 (or Regular88): http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/15503/branding-and-policies-with-a-little-production http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/15502/rvp-season-ends-new-identity-for-e15-begins http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/15498/on-the-brandwagon
  16. I'm actually not that hardcore about running E85 all the time. When the energy per volume metrics are favorable, sure, I'll run E85. But if it's about even, I'll mix up some blend, mathing it out and everything. I think my current blend is about E20, best guess since no one at Family Express that I talked to knew how much ethanol was in the E85 at the moment. Haven't found the right person yet! I just picked a number that sounded good, 70%. It's highest number I've found on a sticker on any FE pump, just not that particular pump. I'm guessing it's the same truck that fuels up Saint John that fuels up Crown Point, so I don't expect one place to be running 51% and the other 83% or whatever. Though I would like some cheap 51% ethanol E85, energy-dense! Anyway, getting about the same mileage I got with E10, so far, so good! Maybe I'll try E30 next time around. I even encourage people to try that E15 stuff, if it's energy-favorable. At a 5 cent spread, it's usually a wash, but if E10 prices get low enough, like around $2.499, then that 5 cent spread looks more and more appealing, and RVP season is just about over (ends on the 15th). In Brazil, I think they run around E25 for their "gasoline" and their ethanol is pure enough to drink (don't do that, it's illegal there!), hydrous E100. I suppose everyone down there has little cards like this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gas_x_√°lcool_-_70_percent.svg to figure which is better in kilometers per liter, accounting for the 30% discount needed for alcohol. I suppose here we'd use an app. If people could see the miles per dollar savings, people would buy fuels blended with more ethanol. At least here in the Midwest. Out in the Pacific Northwest, they don't use corn for their ethanol. They use things like fruit processing plant waste. You want to see some heavily negative E10/E85 price spreads? Look no farther than Washington state! Some stations had E85 pushing $4 a gallon, and the less that was blended in on mid-level blends, the lower the price of the fuel. Bizarroland out there. I thought for sure that the station you were going to out in Tinley Park was the Speedway out there (http://www.garygasprices.com/Speedway_Gas_Stations/Tinley_Park/65/index.aspx). If you zig instead of zag (go north on Harlem instead of south to the Gas N Wash), you'll find it. E85 was 20 cents cheaper last time I looked, and with an 80 cent spread, a mere $2.029 a gallon. To my local Family Express, the western and eastern approaches are US-231(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_231_in_Indiana) from its northern (yeah, it bends) terminus to my local station and onward. It's Parrish Avenue that's treacherous these days (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.4201133,-87.4560941,16z/data=!5m1!1e1). I'll have to swing by, see if their 10 cents off per gallon perk is still going for their grand opening, that put E85 at $1.999 a gallon. Otherwise, the perk is 3 cents off a gallon, which is still pretty good since that particular station is priced competitively with everyone else in the area.
  17. It's been 3 years, RVP season is ending and E15 season is coming back around on the 15th. I think it might be time to Prime the Pump (http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/15498/on-the-brandwagon) and start looking for these E15 pumps, if only to find the E85 pumps next to them. Energy.gov (https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e15.html) says that E15 is sold at 1,400 stations. e85prices has 973 stations listed that sell E15, and I just added one today, fixing to add another after this. As a bonus, both of those were previous unlisted E85 stations as well. Good hunting!
  18. I'm pretty new to E85, I drove around for a year before even noticing that this used car I got was a flex-fuel. It's an older one, a 2007, so it doesn't have the obvious yellow cap on it. I only realized it was flex when I was reading some article, and one of the comments posted said that engine in my car was flex-fuel. This was back in May or June of 2018 when E10 had a price spike and about the same time refineries stopped stuffing butane into gasoline, uh, I mean, switched from their winter blend to their summer blend. With low E85 prices and high E10 prices, it was painless to switch, since E85 was packing more megajoules per dollar than E10 with E85's 25%+ price discount versus E10. I do remember the high $3+ E10 prices, but I also remember low E10 prices, too. A few years back, probably around February of 2016 if the e85prices historical charts are right, the used car before the '07 Town Car was a fancy Nissan Pathfinder. Driving it home, we needed some gas to make it back. E10 was $1.249 a gallon. I didn't want to put twenty bucks in there because I was afraid that however big the gas tank was on the Pathfinder that it couldn't hold it all. I could see how a fixed spread could be bad, having to fill up before price jumps. But it can also be good! With a low enough E10 price and a big enough spread, you can get a deep E85 discount. Here, the spread is only 60 cents at Speedways in Indiana, so E10 prices have to get pretty damn low to challenge Family Express or to even approach the 25% discount I like ($2.40/$1.80 E85 or better). In Illinois and Michigan, it's 80 cents at Speedways. There's a Citgo in Illinois with a 90 cent spread, and E85 was $1.739 yesterday at the Wood Dale, IL Citco, not too shabby. I believe it is construction season out in Indiana at the moment. The western approach to my local Family Express has been closed for repair for weeks, and it's major 50mph road and everything! I suppose some construction is better than no construction, and it should be done in a few days if Google maps is to be believed. The northern and southern approaches do fall in the "threat to personal safety" category, I think the northern approached is being marked for a widening soon, as it is extra treacherous to traverse at the moment.
  19. There is a Kwik Trip in Ida Grove, Iowa, though. I keep seeing this listing for a Kwik Trip popping up on the Indiana state pricing page (https://e85prices.com/indiana.html) and it sticks out like a sore thumb on the map with the wrong state listed but the correct GPS coordinates! Please update the database.
  20. Is competition good for consumers? I think it is, sometimes, and I'll show you. Indiana, which grows a lot of corn, has quite a few E85 stations, but not all of them are bunched together. My sleepy town finally just got one, maybe. I'm not sure which side of the Cedar Lake/Saint John border the new Family Express is on, and from all the various addresses for the place, no one else is sure either. Anyway, it's the only E85 station in town (maybe) and if there isn't another station nearby, stations can charge what they want due to the lack of competition. For FE in my town (maybe), that is one, stable, chain-wide price, independent of the price of E10 or any other fuel, previously $2.099 in early August of 2018 and for the previous two plus months I'd watched it and now $2.199 (3 cents off with perks card, it'll be important later), usually. FE stations do seem to have a little price latitude. A few price higher, some price lower usually in response other stations in the area. What if another station responds to your lowering prices with even lower prices? Then you have the makings of a price war! Not every price war turns into a hot war. Some are of a cooler variety. Out in Valparaiso, there is a price conflict of the less heated type. Two chains, Family Express and Casey's General Store, are engaging in their own little price cold war. Casey's, as far as I can see, can price their E85 however they like as well, it's not a fixed offset from the E10 price like the Speedways in the area. The prices today in that area are FE $2.029, $2.049, $2.099, $2.099 and Casey's $2.049 and $2.099, which is lower to much lower than the current $2.199 chain-wide FE price. This war seems to be in a bit of a standoff, with prices staying stable and prices not really moving up or down on E85 at all. I like stable prices. I liked filling up the Town Car and knowing what the price would be before I even got to the pump, because it hadn't changed in two months. You won't get that with gasoline! So a cold price war ends up with stable prices. What happens when the war heats up? Now, I don't know who fired the first shot. I was just doing my usual price posting on E85prices and saw that the new Family Express out in Blair Hills and the Meijer's in Mishawaka (which are basically down the street from each other) had both priced their E85 at $1.779 a gallon, way below the usual $2.099 that Family Express prices would have been at the time. Wow! Those are like straight-from-the-grain-elevator prices! What was the better deal? Family Express, with their 3 cent perks card, has a perks price of a mere $1.749 a gallon, edging out the Meijer's price by 3 cents. This stayed until Meijer's took notice and lowered their price to $1.739 a gallon, even lower than Family Express's perks price. Family Express fires back, posting $1.759 a gallon, or $1.729 a gallon with perks, edging Meijer's out by one penny. Meijer's then fires back with $1.699 a gallon, going even 3 cents lower than Family Express's perks price. Oh gosh, this could get ugly, how long will this go on? As it turned out, not any longer! It was about this time that, for some reason, the chain-wide Family Express price was raised from $2.099 to $2.199, and all FE reset their prices, including all three of FE stations in Mishawaka, Blair Hills included. And with that, the Great Mishawaka E85 Price War was over. With FE at the chain-wide price, Meijer's raised their price up to $2.099. This played out over a weekend, 3 days at most. It was there, and then it was gone. And the aftermath today? Meijer's, $2.199, and all three Family Express stations in Mishawaka, $2.199 ($2.169 with perks card), which just happens to be the current Family Express chain-wide price. I guess they chose peaceful coexistence over a cold or hot war.
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