Just hours after the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association issued a press release on October 2 thanking General Motors and Ford Motor Company for recommending the use of E15 in their new vehicles, a spokesperson for Chrysler Corporation confirmed that Chrysler is now also recommending E15 for use in 2013 model year vehicles. Thus, Chrysler is joining GM and Ford in giving the 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline blend the green light to be used by motorists.
"It appears the dominos are falling quickly today," noted IRFA executive director Monte Shaw, upon hearing the news of Chrysler's announcement. "IRFA extends its thanks to Chrysler as well as GM and Ford. To be honest, I'm not surprised the recognition of E15, containing 15% American ethanol, came first from the domestic automakers. I hope the import companies will now honor Americans' clear desire for a renewable, domestic fuel option and move quickly to support E15."
As E15 gains momentum in marketplace, vehicle manufacturers are getting onboard
In the original press release, IRFA thanked General Motors and Ford Motor Company for recommending the use of E15 in their new vehicles. GM added the recommendation of E15 for its 2012 and newer vehicles, while Ford recommends E15 for its 2013 and newer vehicles. As E15, a blend of 15% ethanol and gasoline, gains momentum in the marketplace, vehicle manufacturers are beginning to modify fuel recommendations.
"The IRFA wants to extend our most sincere thank you to GM and Ford for recommending the use of E15 in new vehicles," said IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "I believe Iowa consumers will take notice of GM and Ford's leadership. This is an important step forward for E15. Thirty years ago, automobile manufacturers' recognition of E10 began much the same way. First one company, then others followed. First for new cars, then for the legacy fleet. The pressure is now on other auto manufacturers to follow suit or explain why they offer substandard equipment."
Several fuel retailers in Iowa are in various stages of preparing to sell E15
GM and Ford's announcement, first reported by OPIS, comes only months after this summer's final approval of E15 for all 2001 and newer vehicles by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After registering with the EPA, retailers may legally sell E15 – the most tested fuel in history – to all 2001 and newer vehicles, which consume more than 80% of the fuel sold in the U.S. Last month, Linn Co-op Oil Company at Marion, in eastern Iowa, became the first retailer in the state to offer E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles. Several other Iowa fuel retailers are in various stages of moving toward offering E15.
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 13 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 320 million gallons annually. In addition, Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.7 billion gallons annually and one new facility under construction. The IRFA was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the IRFA website.