Sept. 15 marks the expiration date for the U.S. EPA's summer volatility restriction for gasolines. The EPA's prior E15 approval included a summer vapor pressure restriction to 9 psi, creating the need for a specialty blendstock for 15 percent ethanol blending which was more expensive and only available in limited areas. EPA required this E15 vapor pressure restriction from June 1 to September 15. Only one retailer in Kansas, Zarco 66, was able to secure this low reid vapor pressure (RVP) gasoline from a State Implementation Plan (SIP) area of Kansas City, and thus able offer E15 during the summer in Lawrence, Kan., and Ottawa, Kan.
"This should speed the rollout of E15 in states like Kansas, Illinois, Iowa and others because the final barrier in many states will disappear," stated Robert White, director of market development for the Renewable Fuels Association. "Retailers now have the opportunity to bring yet another choice to all drivers of 2001 and newer light duty cars, trucks and SUVs, along with all flex-fuel vehicles."
"The first two stations in Kansas to offer E15 have shown that consumers quickly embrace this new choice," said Bob Dinneen, RFA's president and CEO. "Overnight, sales of E15 at these stations constituted more than 20 percent of all unleaded sales, proving that consumers are looking for options beyond fossil fuels alone."