Classic Chevrolet/Hummer Boosts Consumer Access to Ethanol, Biodiesel
Texans with flex-fuel vehicles gained easier access Friday to E85
ethanol at the first public biofuel pumps in the nation owned by a new
car and truck dealership.
Chevrolet/HUMMER, which sold more Chevrolet trucks than any dealer in
the nation in 2007, spent more than $500,000 to install nine pumps
dedicated to E85, E10 and biodiesel at the new Classic Clean Fuels
station adjacent to its Mr. Good Wrench Quick Lube Plus and HUMMER
dealership in suburban Dallas.
“We sell a lot of
trucks capable of running on alternative fuels like E85, and even
though there has been some increased availability, we saw a need for
more E85 pumps where drivers could fill up,” said Charles Martin,
general manager at Classic Chevrolet/HUMMER. “This was the right thing
for us to do for our customers, and it's good for the Metroplex."
celebrate the grand opening of the pumps, General Motors sponsored a
two-hour promotion between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. during which flex-fuel
customers could buy E85 for 85.9 cents a gallon instead of the regular
E85 price of $2.74 a gallon.
With fewer than 1
percent of filling stations nationwide offering E85 fuel, the addition
of Classic Clean Fuels could be the start of making alternative fuels
available in alternative locations. CleanFUEL Distribution of
Georgetown, Tex., provided a turnkey program to create the new station
and supply the fuel. CleanFUEL also is converting the dealership’s
onsite pump to E85, meaning all FlexFuel vehicles sold at Classic will
start with a tank of E85.
“There’s no telling
where this might lead,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of Research
& Development and Strategic Planning. “We have to keep looking for
ways to improve the overall ownership experience of our customers.”
Rent-A-Car, which operates a rental branch within the Classic
dealership, will dedicate a quarter of its fleet at the branch to GM
FlexFuel models that will be filled at Classic Clean Fuels. It is the
eighth FlexFuel Enterprise outlet in the country.
GM, the industry leader with more than 3 million flex-fuel vehicles on
the road in the United States, has pledged to double flex-fuel
production by 2010 and make half its portfolio E85-capable by 2012.
As part of that commitment, GM’s HUMMER Division revealed the 2009
E85-capable H2 SUT at Classic Hummer on Friday, one of more than 15
FlexFuel models GM will offer for the 2009 model year. The H2 also will
be E85 capable for 2009.
“We’ll offer a
biofuel powertrain in every model we build by the end of 2010,” HUMMER
General Manager Martin Walsh said. “A Hummer’s off-road capability and
care for the environment are in no way mutually exclusive. This is
simply one more step in our effort to promote responsible adventure.”
E85, which consists of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, is a
cleaner-burning, less-polluting and renewable alternative fuel
principally made from corn today. Numerous cellulosic ethanol startups
around the country are racing to commercialize ethanol made from non
A gallon of E85 has 20 to
25 percent less energy density than unleaded gasoline, but offers other
advantages. For example, a well-to-wheel study by Argonne National
Laboratory showed 23 to 29 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions from
E85 fuel than from gasoline. E85 also has about 96 octane compared with
87 octane for regular unleaded. That can mean a performance boost in
“This signals that GM and our
dealers are trying hard to give our customers choices,” said GM’s
Burns. “Down the road, we may even want to consider hydrogen dispensers