Motorists who want to fill up on ethanol now have the option to do so in Wildomar.
The Chevron gas station located at 23805 Clinton Keith Road has become the first fuel station in Southwest Riverside County to offer the Flex Fuel E85 option, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website and Ruthanne Taylor Berger, Deputy District Director for the Western Riverside Council of Governments, which oversees the Western Riverside Clean Cities Coalition.
Propel Fuels, an E85 retailer, along with San Diego-based KA Enterprises, a station operator, have partnered to make the option available at the Chevron, according to Emily Stoffel, spokeswoman for Propel.
“It’s a unique situation. They invited us,” Stoffel said.
E85 is an ethanol-based, cleaner-burning alternative to petroleum gasoline, according to Propel. It is derived from fermented grains and sugars.
The E85 availability in Wildomar coincides with the grand opening of the Clinton Keith Road/15 Freeway overpass in Wildomar scheduled for Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m., across the street from the Chevron station. City officials are expecting an uptick in development and retail occupancy now that the bridge has been expanded and traffic is flowing faster through the area.
Propel recognized the opportunity. Stoffel explained that while KA invited Propel to partner at the Chevron station, her company had to do its due diligence, which included using an algorithm that determined traffic counts.
“This is an ideal location for us, providing quick access off a major freeway, while serving a new community of Flex Fuel vehicle owners. We’re excited to bring more choice at the pump to the City of Wildomar and help make progress toward our nation’s clean energy goals,” said Propel CEO Matt Horton in a released statement.
For her part, Taylor said the Western Riverside Clean Cities Coalition is “committed” to bringing cleaner fuel options to the area, and she called the news in Wildomar “extremely exciting.”
There are approximately 10 million Flex Fuel vehicles on U.S. roads today, according to Propel. Nearly all vehicle manufacturers offer some models compatible with Flex Fuel E85 including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Jeep, Mazda, Mercedes Benz and Toyota. For a list of Flex Fuel vehicles, visit Propel’s vehicles page. The U.S. Department of Energy also offers tips to determine whether you have a Flex Fuel vehicle.
According to Propel, ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by 30 percent, reducing smog and air toxins, such as benzene, by 21 percent, and tailpipe particulate matter (PM) emissions by 50 percent. Ethanol is rapidly biodegradable in surface water, ground water and soil, according to the company.
Propel will not control pricing at the Chevron location, but said Flex Fuel E85 is typically 15 percent lower in cost per gallon for consumers. Although the E85 does not offer the same mileage per gallon as gasoline, Stoffel said efficiency is based on whether a vehicle is well tuned for ethanol and how well maintained it is.
“Generally, fuel efficient vehicles get about 1 to 2 miles less per gallon using E85 than gasoline, and that is made up for in the cost of the fuel,” she said.
Currently, the Wildomar station is offering the fuel, but the E85 availability had not been widely announced until Wednesday. According to Stoffel, Propel representatives will be at the station Thursday and Friday to promote the fuel availability and answer questions about efficiency.
As part of Thursday and Friday’s celebration at Chevron, Propel and KA Enterprises will provide local drivers and fleets $10 of free Flex Fuel E85.