Under a first-of-its-kind supply arrangement, Kroger will sell VeraSun-branded VE85TM - a clean-burning fuel made from corn - at pumps in 20 Kroger locations in Ohio and Kentucky. It brings to more than 100 the number of VeraSun VE85TM outlets around the country.
CINCINNATI.”“ The Kroger Co., VeraSun Energy Corp. and Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced several moves Tuesday to make VeraSun-branded VE85TM ethanol an easier choice for rental customers.
Under a first-of-its-kind supply arrangement, Kroger will sell VeraSun-branded VE85TM ”“ a clean-burning fuel made from corn ”“ at pumps in 20 Kroger locations in Ohio and Kentucky. It brings to more than 100 the number of VeraSun VE85TM outlets around the country.
"The partnership between VeraSun and Kroger is a continuation of efforts being made to expand the use of E85 through improved availability and education," said Bill Honnef, VeraSun Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiative. "In just over two years, we have been able to expand VE85TM from the initial seven stations in South Dakota to more than 100 stations in 11 states and Washington, D.C. We are encouraged by the effort being made by both the retailers and auto manufactures to develop E85 as a mainstream fuel option in our nation."
To help drive consumer awareness and use of E85 in Cincinnati, Enterprise has designated its rental location at 6610 Glenway Ave. as a VE85TM/FlexFuel branch.
A quarter of the branch’s rental fleet will be General Motors FlexFuel vehicles. Enterprise is committed to keep these cars and trucks fueled with VE85 TM from nearby Kroger locations, and to encourage its customers to do likewise, providing them with in-car materials on fueling locations, as well as about the benefits of E85 fuel.
"It’s important to us as a company to reduce the environmental impact of our vehicle fleet," said Bobby Willard, vice president and general manager of Enterprise’s Central SW Ohio Group. "But we know that our customers care about the environment, too. Offering these FlexFuel cars fueled with VE85 TM is one more way to help them make sustainable choices they can feel good about."
GM has more than 2 million FlexFuel vehicles on the road that can run on any blend of petroleum and ethanol up to 85 percent ethanol. GM is producing more than 400,000 FlexFuel vehicles annually.
"The significance of these moves is that they help to build a national ethanol infrastructure," said Mary Beth Stanek, GM director of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "Agreements like the one between VeraSun and Kroger will begin to create a public perception of a brand around E85, and consumers relate to brands."
Cincinnati-based Kroger sells E85 ethanol in markets around the nation. There are about 1,300 fueling stations nationwide offering E85 ethanol today. While a small percentage of the total fueling stations, the availability of E85 has more than doubled in the last two years.