Local News

Alternative Fuel Station Outselling Competitors 3-1

Posted July 13, 2006

— High gas prices are driving demand for alternatives.

WRAL found some gas in Raleigh selling for as much as $2.92 Thursday.

But, compare that to E-85, which is fuel made from corn products, going for about 20 cents per gallon less.

Business at the one station that sells E-85 is triple that of other stations.

North Carolina's first all-alternative fuel station, America's Fuel, opened two months ago.

"I know very little about it," said motorist Mitchell Williams. "I know it's made from corn, I think, and from what I've gathered that E-10 is like midgrade unleaded."

E-10 is ten percent ethanol. It can be used in any car. E-85 is 85 percent ethanol and can only be used in cars specifically designed for it..

America's Fuel also sells biodiesel, which is made with soybean oil.

Alternative fuels are designed to reduce dependency on foreign oil, burn cleaner, and could help drivers save money.

"I'm anti-foreign oil. I'm for the farmers. I came from a farm so that's what I like," said motorist Pam Gaddy. "I want to support the farmers of America."

Many retailers said it's expensive to make the transition to alternative fuels with new tanks and new fuel lines.

The biggest hurdle is that not all cars can run on all alternative fuels.

E-85 does the most to reduce dependency on foreign oil, but there are relatively few vehicles that can use it. The complete list fits on the side of the pump,and there are only a few models from some manufacturers.

Mainly on the strength of their low-priced E-10, America's Fuel claims to sell 3,000 gallons a day, above average for the Sandhills region.

As the unleaded price continues to rise, it drives more people to the alternative pump.

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