General Motors Bring 1st E85 Fueling Location to Washington

by : Iver Penn

VeraSun Energy Corporation announced in June 28 the opening of the first E85 retail fueling location in Washington, D.C. The inauguration was the result of an ongoing joint effort of VeraSun and General Motors, maker of quality , to expand the availability and consumer awareness of E85.

A blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that is now available at the Georgetown Chevron, VeraSun's branded VE85(TM) is situated at 2450 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., and in Arlington, Va., at the Navy Exchange station near the Pentagon. The addition of two retail fueling locations augments the number of stations selling VE85(TM) to more than 90 in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Don Endres, VeraSun's Chairman and CEO, said their partnership shows the efforts being made to improve the availability of E85 in the nation. He explains E85 has been available throughout the Midwest for years, and several Americans have used it almost exclusively to fuel their vehicles. He extends his gratitude to have worked jointly with their partners to bring VE85(TM) to the D.C. metro zone so that drivers in Washington, D.C. may experience the clean, high-octane product which strengthens the country's energy independence and helps the environment by minimizing both greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.

Since the companies began working together to expand availability and increase the awareness of VE85(TM), the announcement marks the fifth collaboration VeraSun and GM have entered with a third-party retailer. The first initiative was launched in May 2005 with pilot stations in Sioux Falls, S.D. It has widened to include locations in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy, said they believe renewable fuels like E85 give US the greatest near-term potential to actually minimize gasoline consumption and vehicle emissions.

On this initiative, Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined VeraSun and GM by announcing that it is designating its premier rental location in Washington, D.C., as an official "E85/FlexFuel branch". Owning the world's largest fleet of FlexFuel Vehicles, with over 41,000 cars and trucks, Enterprise committed to fuel 50 GM FlexFuel vehicles from its location at 1029 Vermont Ave. N.W., at the Georgetown Chevron. Moreover, the vehicles will be stocked with materials about VE85(TM) and directions to the fueling location.

Matthew G. Darrah, Enterprise Rent-A-Car senior vice president of North American operations, said they are privileged to work with VeraSun Energy to make it easier for their customers to make sustainable choices.

Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee Sen. Jeff Bingaman said a title that promotes the production, distribution and use of clean, renewable, made-in-America transportation fuels like E85 is an important part of the energy bill the Senate just passed.

The Georgetown Chevron location, owned by Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties, marks a vital accomplishment for the fuel retailer in offering E85 at the first of its 23 company- operated locations in the Washington, D.C. metro zone.

Carlos Horcasitas, Chairman and CEO of Mid-Atlantic, said Mid-Atlantic is proud to be the first retail chain in Washington D.C. to offer its customers E85 and, in particular, VeraSun's branded E85, VE85(TM).

Also backed up during the June 28 announcement were the representatives from the District, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

VeraSun Energy Corporation is headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota, and a leading producer of renewable fuel.