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Gwinnett E85 pump popular with flex-fuel crowd

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Lewis Woodruff almost looks forward to filling up the tank on his 1999 Dodge Caravan.

 

Almost.

 

 

Prices for E85 at the Safa Express BP were $2.89 a gallon Monday.

 

Lewis Woodruff checks under the hood of his 1999 Dodge Caravan at a Lawrenceville gas station that sells E85.

 

Woodruff, a 52-year-old manufacturer's representative from Lawrenceville, bought the used minivan in September for a bit less than $6,000, unaware that it was a flex-fuel vehicle.

 

When he went to change the oil filter a few weeks later, he learned his vehicle is designed to run on ethanol, he said.

 

"It was originally from Indiana," he said. The corn-growing state's easy ethanol availability may have made flex-fuel vehicles more popular there, he said. "I didn't even know it."

 

The E85 blend of ethanol sells for under $3 a gallon. At 15,000 miles of driving a year, the difference between driving with E85 and regular gasoline represents about $600 in annual savings at current prices.

 

But that discovery wasn't especially useful until last month.

 

The Safa Express BP station on Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville opened an E85 pump three weeks ago. The store sells the E85 ethanol blend for $2.89 a gallon. Regular unleaded gasoline costs $3.55 a gallon there, and close to that at most places.

 

Woodruff was the store's first ethanol customer, said Nayef Abuaisheh, the store owner.

 

The store's single pump is slammed in the morning, with a line of cars waiting to fuel up, he said. He's planning to add a second pump, and an electronic meter so government vehicles with flex-fuel engines can buy fuel there as well.

 

About five minutes from the new pump, dealers at one car lot are salivating

 

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/2008/04/28/fuel_0429.html

 

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