USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul joined the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Energy Office on May 6, 2011 in York, Nebraska at the Aurora Cooperative for a media conference to discuss the need for flexible fuel pumps. Also, the importance of the use of ethanol blended gasoline in Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) was discussed with gasoline retailers. The Obama Administration has set a goal of establishing 10,000 more flexible fuel pumps in the next five years along with a national security goal (RFS 2) of using 36 billion gallons of biofuel per year by 2022. Local residents and fuel retailers pulled FFV cars up at the Coop’s flex fuel pumps to fill their tanks with the ethanol blended fuels gas.
Nearly all retail gasoline stations dispense an E-10 blend. There is a growing trend in the United States towards fuels with higher ethanol content. Flexible fuel pumps (ethanol blender pumps) are more specifically designed to make available ethanol-gasoline blends, up to E-85. In addition, they may also dispense mid-level blends.
According to the Nebraska Ethanol Board, flexible fuel pumps allow customers more fuel choices. These choices lead to faster turnover of ethanol fuel versus a current unleaded, E-10, premium pump set up. According to the Nebraska Corn Board, ethanol sales have increased 45-55 percent in the last year in stations that have installed flex fuel pumps in Nebraska. Retailers have the flexibility to determine which ethanol blends they offer at the pump. Retailers that choose to become the blender of record can take advantage of VEETC, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, and other tax credits.
Currently, there are nearly 100,000 Flex Fuel Vehicles in Nebraska with the number continuing to rise annually. These vehicles have the capability to use ethanol fuel blends from a Nebraska made fuel. American vehicle manufacturers GM, Ford, and Chrysler have committed to producing 50 percent of all 2012 Model year vehicles as Flex Fuel Vehicles.
Nebraska is the third largest producer of corn in the United States and the second largest producer of ethanol. USDA Rural Development, the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Department of Energy are currently working together to promote ethanol in Nebraska, to educate consumers about Flex Fuel Vehicles, and to provide resources to fuel retailers, regarding the installation of flexible fuel infrastructure.
Retail installation incentives are derived from the USDA Rural Development through the Rural Energy for America Program.