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Black Knight

E85 pumps being replaced with E15 ?!

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So I have heard that there are quite a few stations replacing all their E85 pumps with E15. Does anyone know the story behind this? What is going on?

 

Is this the beginning of the end for E85?

 

So far thankfully I have seen no changes in Colorado but I know I won't be using E15 if all the E85 pumps here are replaced with E15 - at that point, might as well use E0 or E10 and get the better fuel mileage since 5% more ethanol in regular fuel is well... nothing. That and all the E10 pumps say "may contain up to 10% ethanol". So guessing that E15 might be no different than E10... they could probably just mark the E10 pumps as E15 and use the same "may contain up to 15% ethanol"... so... i'd use whatever is less expensive at that point.

 

Not sure how well this would go over around my neck of the woods replacing E85 with E15. I see so many people using E85 - from soccer mom's in big flex fuel SUV's to enthusiasts that converted their vehicle to run on E85 - I actually see alot of that here, almost every time I stop for fuel someone with a modified turbocharged vehicle is filling up with E85.

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A couple Cenex stations I've frequented in ND had blender pumps installed, then later dropped mid-grade blends to E15. At least they still have E85.

Edited by TD

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In Iowa we have a Kum & Go chain that seems to be jumping on the E15 bandwagon, but have E85 at the same pumps at the station I normally use.  It is a fairly new station, but they modified pumps sometime this summer.  

 

It has maybe 8 double sided pumps, probably half have E15, E85, E10 & 91 on them, the other half have diesel and E10, 87 & 91.  I've been running E15 in my Cobalt with barely a MPG notice.  June over 2000 miles on E10 42.4 mpg,   July about same miles 41.6 mpg, last 3 tanks of E15 42.2.   

 

I did run 3 tanks of E30 a few weeks ago and dropped to 39.6 but pumps are too far out of my way.

 

E15 is $0.10(5%) cheaper than E10, I might be losing 1-2% mpg.   E30 was actually cheaper per mile, but 10 miles out of my way, I calculated it would save me $0.25/500 mile(average tank) but the 10 miles cost $0.50.

 

 

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Some cars like E20 better than E30. If you mix E15/30 half and half, you'd end up with E22. You might try that.

 

One part E85 and 6 parts E10 would also get you E20.

 

My wife's non-FF Mariner gets worse mileage on E30 than E10 so I usually fill it with E15 instead. Most of her driving is over 240 miles so I don't push E30 on her.

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I've splash blended quite a bit, all depends on the prices of the day if worth the effort.  For the most part $/mile comes out so close hardly worth the effort. 

 

Been planning on getting HPtuners for over a year now to basically flip the switch on my 2 Cobalt's to enable the FF, and then learn to optimize the timing.  John shared his Cobalt's maps with me so I have those, just haven't spent the $600 yet. 

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No, SW side of Cedar Rapids.  Was at Coralville K&G last spring, was first time I saw a E15 pump, don't recall how pumps were set up but they have E85 as well.

 

New Kwik Star on SW side at Westdale apparently doesn't want to sell much E85  $1.89 vs the K&G 1/2 mile away at $1.59. 

 

Haven't pulled in to check other blends available yet and have it added as a station.

 

Minor pet peeve, it would be nice when picking a station to see the price it would list mid range E blends including E15. 

Edited by roosterk

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Been planning on getting HPtuners for over a year now to basically flip the switch on my 2 Cobalt's to enable the FF, and then learn to optimize the timing.  John shared his Cobalt's maps with me so I have those, just haven't spent the $600 yet. 

 

Bear in mind that tweaking a tune is a full time job. I spent $14 last week (full tank of E85) unnecessarily joyriding and logging. These are trips out in the country where I didn't have any reason to go. It's habit forming. With the changing weather (fall, then winter), you're never really done. Then when your mileage is disappointing, what's causing it? Do I need to tweak my timing, or is it just from the wind or temp change? My wife sighs every time she sees me with my 10" tablet in my hand since she knows that's only used for tuning....

 

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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$1.15 E15 today at Cedar Rapids, Marion, and North Liberty Kum & Go's.  Got 13 gallons in my 13 gallon tank in car and another 13.25 in the trunk.  Almost 43 mpg last 3 tanks.

 

They still have more E85 pumps than E15. 

Edited by roosterk

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So I just got off the phone with a newly opened RaceTrac in Fort Myers, FL. Those of us either within the ethanol community or close to it know about the news RaceTrac has made with their rapid adoption of E15. I've been largely silent on the issue because of a number of personal matters that have made life difficult of late, but I must vocalize my views on this.

 

I'm fully in support of E15. I think it's fantastic especially for those who want to support ethanol, but simply can not use E85. However, I can not emphasize this enough. I DO NOT SUPPORT E15 AT THE EXPENSE OF E85! I was informed that this RaceTrac station only carries E15, NOT E85. I've checked street view at this and other RaceTrac stations - all orange E15 nozzles. My further concern is that RaceTrac has made the same move at the other stations - as far as new stations go, at least. I was told by tweet from an ethanol exec that 90% of new RaceTrac stations do indeed get E85. This tweet was later deleted. I asked RaceTrac about a new store going in around Deltona, FL, and they replied that E15 will be replacing E85. Upon my asking them to clarify whether it was just this store or at all E85 stores, they did not reply.

 

Remember Murphy USA? They've been silent lately. They had pledged support of ethanol-based fuels E85 and E15. I don't know what has gone on behind the scenes other than the fact that Walmart has cut ties with Murphy USA, but I'm seeing new stations open that do not carry E85 or E15. For instance, I've visited Murphy USA locations in the Michigan cities of Tawas, Gaylord, and Charlotte. All have brand-new digital LED pumps, but no sign of either E85 or E15. One Walmart station in Garland, Texas has E15... but no E85.

 

This post is not an attack on E15. I want to make that clear. But this apparent clandestine effort to replace E85 with E15 is inexcusable, deplorable, and potentially feckless. E15 should be an option, NOT a replacement. Regardless of RaceTrac's apparent decision to swap E85 for E15 - which seems to be lauded more than it is examined - there is a shift of marketing and support from E85 over to E15. I'm open to corrections here, but where is the support for E85 from the ethanol community? Where is the outrage at RaceTrac's decision to replace E85 with E15, instead of selling the two fuels together?

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