Ford and VeraSun partner to drive ethanol infrastructure
Dearborn, MI— As fuel prices
soar at the pumps and energy security remains a concern, Ford
Motor Company is announcing a first-of-a-kind partnership with
VeraSun Energy Corporation, a renewable energy company. The initiative
will expand the fueling infrastructure to support flexible fuel
vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on up to 85 percent ethanol
Ford is dramatically ramping
up its commitment to hybrids and announcing four new vehicles
with flexible fuel technology - the Ford F-150, Ford Crown Victoria,
Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. The company will produce
as many as 250,000 flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) in 2006.
Fueling infrastructure for customers,
however, is lagging. Ford is partnering with VeraSun and encouraging
retail fuel providers to incorporate E85 fuel options in their
With approximately five million
FFVs on the road today, E85 has great potential as an alternative
fuel. E85 is an alternative transportation fuel made from a blend
of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that can be used
in FFVs. Only about 500 of the more than 180,000 fuel stations
in the U.S. currently offer E85. Ford and VeraSun will increase
the number of stations offering E85, particularly in Midwest markets
where ethanol availability is growing.
“Increasing FFV production
and E85 use represent the best near-term solution to significantly
reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The two greatest challenges
facing greater E85 use are access to convenient fueling locations
and a lack of consumer awareness,” said Bill Honnef, vice
president, sales and marketing, VeraSun. “Because flexible
fuel vehicles can run on both gasoline and E85, most FFV owners
are not aware they are driving an FFV and simply use gasoline.
Our research indicates that nearly 70 percent of flexible fuel
vehicle owners are unaware they are driving one. With Ford as
a partner, we believe we can make great strides in both areas.”
The Ford/VeraSun partnership
will concentrate on growing the E85 infrastructure in 2006. The
initiative will serve to convert existing fuel pumps to VeraSun’s
branded E85 - VE85 - in existing retail outlets. A consumer awareness
campaign to promote the benefits and use of E85 will also be launched.
Local retail outlets and Ford dealerships will be asked to participate
in the campaign.
Consumers can learn more about
the benefits of E85 use, find E85 stations and determine if they
own an FFV by visiting www.E85Fuel.com.