Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GM and National Governors Association team on E85 infrastructure

The National Governors Association is teaming up with General Motors to promote the expansion of E85 distribution around the country. While no one seriously expects the corn-based ethanol that we have today to be anything more than a very small piece of the fuel puzzle, GM is firmly committed to next-generation biofuels. Since the start of this year, GM has made equity investments in two different companies (Coskata and Maskoma) developing processes to produce low-cost cellulosic ethanol.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the agreement at the NGA meeting in Philadelphia. Pawlenty has been a major proponent of biofuels in his own state, having recently proposed making all gasoline sold be a 20-percent ethanol blend. Under the agreement, GM will work with state governments to determine where best to locate E85 pumps to make them most accessible to drivers of flex-fuel vehicles. Currently there are just under 1,700 E85 pumps available nationwide out of the total of 170,000 filling stations. The intent of this partnership is to ensure that over the next few years as cellulosic ethanol gets commercialized, there will be easily-accessible locations where drivers of the millions of flex-fuel vehicles on the road can get biofuel. The GM press release is included after the jump.