Partnering with VersSun Energy Corp., the Ford Motor Co. announced the creation of the "first ethanol corridor. In a June 29 statement, Ford said the Midwest Ethanol Corridor will increase the availability of E85 by converting gasoline fuel pumps to E85 in stations located along 1-55 in Illinois and I-70 in Missouri.
"Today's launch represents an important step toward wider accessibility of E85 for America's drivers," said Bill Ford, Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Company. "Ethanol is an energy source straight from America's farmlands. Ford, together with VeraSun, believes the corridor can help jump-start the growth of E85 as we work to address the nation's energy issues."
Recently Ford committed to double the number of biofuel-capable vehicles produced in the U.S. by 2010. Ford offers four flexible fuel vehicles, the 2006 F-150, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car and will produce up to 250,000 fuel flexible vehicles this year.
There are approximately five million flexible fuel vehicles on American highways today, but the availability of E85 is limited. Only 750 fuel stations offer E85. The Corridor will add 50 additional pumps in Illinois and Missouri using VeraSun's VE85 product as well as E85 from other providers.
"Consumers can realize the benefits of using E85 today. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made from corn grown in the Midwest. E85 is good for our economy, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and burns cleaner than regular gasoline, which is better for our environment," said Bill Honnef, VeraSun's senior vice president of sales and marketing.