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E85: Filling up the tank and saving money

E85: Filling up the tank and saving money

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Mar 20, 2012

NAPLES, Fla. - You may not realize it, but your car might be able to use a type of fuel that could save you money at the pump, but some are wondering why is it so hard to find E85 at Southwest Florida gas stations.

Brian Rasnick drover his Escalade to Tallahassee this weekend where he filled up for the first time using E85. It's an alternative fuel made up 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

"With gas potentially going up to $5 a gallon this year it will be even more important
for us to find an alternative in gas," said Rasnick.

E95 is a cheaper alternative costing an average of $0.60 less per gallon than regular gasoline.

"If you go to other states in the country they have hundreds of gas stations that have E85.
The question I have is why don't we have any ethanol alternatives here in Southwest Florida."

So I did some digging and found the closest place selling E85 is a Marathon gas station in Fort Myers. After that you have to go to Miami for another station carrying E85. So why aren't there more places selling this alternative fuel in Southwest Florida? It's a question I took to the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

"It's supply and demand. If you only have so many vehicles that are going to use it like
the charging stations if you put electrical charging stations in and there's not people over using them, what's going to happen to them?" said Executive Director Ned Bowman.

A service manager at a Chevrolet dealership says while E85 is a cheaper alternative, cars using it will get lower gas mileage.

Julie Salomone
Fox 4