According to the website ethanolretailer.com, the Meijer gas stations in Norton Shores and on East 16th Street in Holland, and the Vriesland Country Store on Byron Road in Zeeland all sell E85, and there are several in the Grand Rapids area.
But there are none in Northwest Ottawa County.
An alternative fuel station called Anew opened this month on 84th Avenue in Zeeland Township, just south of the Zeeland Farm Services offices, and it is selling the ethanol–based fuel under the Yellow Hose program with the pledge to keep the price at least $1 per gallon lower than the price of regular unleaded gasoline. When the station opened, the average local price of 87-octane gasoline was $3.70 per gallon, and Anew priced its E85 fuel at $2.59 per gallon.
E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Proponents say it is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel produced from renewable sources, namely grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn.
But, keep in mind, it burns faster than traditional unleaded gasoline because, according to experts, it has a lower energy content. According to Joe Wiesenfelder in a story for Cars.com, E85 produces 27 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline.
“For example, the flex-fuel 2010 Chevrolet Impala equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 18/29 mpg (city/highway) on gasoline and 14/21 mpg when burning E85,” Wiesenfelder notes. “The acceleration is pretty much the same, but the car's range is shortened. In other words, you'll be filling the tank more often when using E85. Do the math and you'll discover that E85 must be priced roughly 28 percent less than gas just to break even.”
CLICK HERE for a calculator to see if the price of E85 is worth it, mileage-wise.
CLICK HERE for the state’s take on E85 fuel. The state also provides links to find alternative fuel retailers across the country.
If you would like to see a list of flexible fuel vehicles that can run on alternative fuels, visit e85vehicles.com.
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