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Updated "Consumer Choice Report Card" numbers

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So back in July, as many of you know, the Renewable Fuels Association came out with the "Consumer Choice Report Card", ranking every fuel station chain nationwide by what percentages of their stores carry E85 and E15. Chains with less than 50 stores were excluded. The report card used the AFDC database for E85/E15 stations, and compared these numbers to total numbers of convenience stores for each chain. Data for the latter there came from the National Association of Convenience Stores and Convenience News. I wanted to run through the numbers myself, and verify what was correct and what was not.

 

First of all, the AFDC database is missing a large number of stations that our site has listed. Also, I don't believe that the convenience store total numbers were accurate either. I say this, in large part, because of expansions that many of these companies are undertaking. Meijer is horrible about listing fuel stations on their website, and they don't appear to have updated these numbers any time since at least 2012. Meijer is constructing at least a dozen new stores chain wide each year at their current pace, and are renovating several more.

 

Second, one major error that is worth pointing out is that Speedway and SuperAmerica are NO LONGER part of the same company. Speedway and SuperAmerica parted ways in 2011, and are now completely separate companies. As a result, both Speedway and SuperAmerica have completely different store numbers and E85 store percentages.

 

Meijer, Speedway, Thorntons, Kum and Go, and several other chains have made commitments to add E85 at every new store, and every store that does work with the tanks and pumps.

 

I thought that it would be a neat idea to keep a running tally of these numbers. This would be in addition to the E85/blender fuel database(s) that we currently have in place. This way, we will always have these numbers to refer to, and they can be updated as new E85 pumps come online.

 

EthanolAddict and I have been talking about the company RaceTrac, which owns and operates the brand RaceTrac, and leases out RaceWay branded stores. RaceTrac has taken a similar commitment to the above mentioned chains, however, they are adding E85, OR E0, in various different octane forms, at their stores. Unfortunately, Florida is full of gullible people, and ethanol free seems to be available on every block. Florida is a lost cause for RaceTrac adding E85. In fact, I have developed a theory. It seems rather cynical the more I think about it, but I'm starting to think that RaceTrac is only adding E85 at some of their stores to counter their E0 sales. I'm getting really sick of seeing new stations built, getting my hopes up, and getting excited to see E85 come at major brand stores to markets like NOLA, Tampa, Naples, Orlando, etc, only to find out YET ANOTHER ethanol free station instead. I mean come on, you'd think gulf coast folks would be ELATED to be donating 10% less of their money to the industry that befouled the gulf with oil, and has done a poor job at managing it.

Well I bring RaceTrac up because they no longer earn an F. In the consumer choice report card, RaceTrac was rated at 0.0%, meaning none of their stores had E85 according to the data in the report. I worked tirelessly, and it took me several days because I kept getting distracted, but I had finally completed the database. Well due to a text messaging issue, I decided to erase my iPad, thinking the databases I had completed thus far were backed up online. So I had to start a couple from scratch again, and reopen the outdated ones I had on my laptop and complete them. Florida and Georgia were both a b***h to work on for RaceTrac/RaceWay stores, so I won't be doing that one again for a while. The finally tally for RaceTrac, including their RaceWay branded stores, was 2.87%. Significant improvement in such a short time, despite the growth of ethanol free.

 

Here are the chain stats I have thus far.

 

Kum & Go (slight improvement)

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!128&authkey=!AJRUbvS-l5UCQFw

 

The big kahuna in the fuel business, Speedway (slight improvement overall, despite nearly 200 non-E85 stores coming online)

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!106&authkey=!ALshEJS6GI_F_-Q

 

Thorntons (not that they had low numbers, but their numbers increased significantly!)

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!117&authkey=!AHV6bKNNEZ-PgHw

 

Family Express: this is one chain that was not included in the report card; likely because they had less than 50 stores listed in the convenience store database. However, they have many more than 50 stations, so I got this one done fairly early on.

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!120&authkey=!ACwIqUwSVEvT7GE

 

Meijer: this is the first major chain in this part of the country to make a large scale commitment to E85. They have had some issues pricing it, but I do commend them for the installations. I was disappointed when I did the numbers for this company; I found a much lower percentage of stores had E85 than what was featured in the report. They are still well into A+ category though. I'm wondering if some older stores were not included. I know that we have found numerous new stations in the time since the report came out in July, which also affects the numbers.

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!112&authkey=!AG2QLp9nCxgMmos

 

H-E-B (store percentage has more than doubled since the report came out! This is the backup from my laptop, and needs some updates, but is largely complete)

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=5E42C0B764D38C1!119&authkey=!APCUcRPLHW4jZVw

 

The following are works in progress:

SuperAmerica, Holiday, Mapco, and RaceTrac

 

Please, by all means, comment here about your thoughts! If you see anything that is amiss, please let me know. I have also found numerous additional stores to add to the database, which I will take care of within the next few days.

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Why no mention of Cenex? A lot of their stores in ND/MN have E85.

Remember, this is just the start. I will eventually have all of the chain numbers listed on that report card updated. Cenex is a difficult animal because some of their fueling stations only have the fuel branded Cenex, and the convenience stores are actually branded something else, like Kum and Go. Some Cenex stations have too little information to go on. We have some stations listed that when I try to look up photos or see them on street view, I get nothing. Some also don't have phone numbers listed anywhere. Right now, I'm working on the chains I'm more familiar with.

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The Speedway near me, North of O'Hare airport has the distinction of having 16 gasoline dispensers & 8 diesel under the canopy, and one lonely E85 pump exposed to weather and often blocked by fuel truck shipments or a line of customers waiting to use the air hose. They don't even have E85 signage or price postings. They did everything the could to discourage e85 sales at that location, yet someone is using the pump every time I pass.

 

post-2371-0-21612500-1425922802_thumb.png

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That's nothing my friend. The Sunoco about 15 miles to my northeast, in Perry, has 20 gasoline only pumps, a couple of which have diesel, and then a separate truck bay for truckers to get diesel. E85 is in a lone part of the property, behind the truck scales, and is also often blocked by fuel deliveries. It's 150 feet from the store. They just recently added a street light above the pump.

post-2293-0-95165400-1425923351_thumb.jpg

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I love how up there they try to "hide" the pump by placing it in awkward places on the property since they know that plenty of people would use it if it were convenient. However down here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area of Texas, RaceTrac has E85 at all 24 pumps right alongside diesel and gasoline. I wonder if this is due to the fact Texas is a big oil state and they are relatively sure hardly any one will choose it. Kroger has E85 at half of their pumps alongside gasoline, with diesel sharing the other half of the gasoline pumps. My how the pump placement is different when the demographics are different.

post-2892-0-17409500-1425957215_thumb.jpg

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