Consumers in South Dakota are reaping the benefits of the blender pump program offered by the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC) and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). Forty-five stations have filed applications to receive grants to install blender pumps and to date, 34 stations are operational. For years, E10 (10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline) and E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) have been available across the state. Today, blender pumps offer drivers of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) more choices at the pump with higher blends such as E20, E30, E40 or E85.
“While mid-level blends are for flex-fuel vehicles only, we are confident research will demonstrate that E15, E20 or even E30 can be run in conventional vehicles with no changes needed,” said Toni Nuernberg, executive director of the EPIC. “Early tests underway at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are indicating this to be true. Once the EPA approves higher blends for these vehicles, the infrastructure will already be in place. This is a win-win for consumers, South Dakota and the ethanol industry.”
The blender pump program debuted on May 1, 2008 with funding allocated for 45 stations. Today, 45 stations have completed all program requirements and there are now 34 operational blender pumps in 27 different cities across South Dakota. This program places South Dakota in second place, behind Minnesota, for the total number of blender pumps available to consumers.
“Higher blends of ethanol are the ultimate goal. South Dakota consumers can now reap the benefits of higher blends by being able to access blender pumps across the state,” said Reid Jensen, president of the SDCUC. “South Dakota was first to raise the bar and offer the next generation of fuel to consumers. This is only the starting point. Flex-fuel drivers are discovering that mid-level blends are a better option for them, offering better fuel efficiency, lower emissions and lessening our dependence on foreign oil.”