Issue: Mar 2006


VeraSun Energy and GM Announce Collaborative Partnership



20 Chicago-area stations now offering VeraSun E85

by Rob White



VeraSun Energy and General Motors announced Sunday a partnership to promote the awareness and use of E85 fuel. The availability of VE85, VeraSun's branded E85 fuel, at 20 Gas City locations across greater Chicago was also announced - the first in a series of joint initiatives across the Midwest.

VeraSun, the nation's second largest ethanol producer, and General Motors, the world's largest automaker, are acting on the need for alternative fuels use and teaming up to make consumers more aware of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), the benefits of E85, and fuel availability.

Although there are approximately six million FFVs on American roads today, the majority of these drivers are unaware they are capable of using this domestically produced, renewable fuel as an alternative to gasoline.

GM is a leader in flexible fuel vehicle production with 1.5 million FFVs already on the road and plans to add more than 400,000 vehicles in 2006.

'Increasing consumer awareness is vital if we are to realize the potential positive impact E85 use can have on our economy and country' says Bill Honnef, vice president of sales and marketing for VeraSun. 'We applaud General Motors in going beyond production of flexible fuel vehicles and teaming with us to promote awareness and availability of E85.'

VeraSun introduced their branded E85 fuel -VE85- just eight months ago in eastern South Dakota. VE85 is now available at more than 30 locations in four states. Along with providing fuel, the company is working with fuel retailers to expand the number of E85 locations while simultaneously engaging in partnerships to increase consumer awareness.

The VE85 pumps located at the Gas City locations are clearly identified with distinctive pump handles and special markings on the pump to show they are 85% ethanol and made especially for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). For a list of compatible vehicles or station locations, please visit VE85.com.

'We wanted to do our part to make E85 a viable alternative to gasoline,' said William Shireman Gas City Executive Vice President. 'We think we are leading the way for other retailers by offering VeraSun's VE85 product. The benefits of this alternative fuel on our economy and environment will be felt for generations to come.'

As part of the partnership with VeraSun, GM will promote VE85 fuel availability through consumer and dealer outreach. GM will also use its OnStar technology to assist drivers in locating E85 stations.

'GM is pursuing gasoline-savings solutions on many fronts on the way to our ultimate vision of hydrogen fuel cell-powered transportation,' said Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. 'E85 fuel burns cleaner than gasoline and is a renewable, domestic fuel that can enhance the nation's economy and energy security. Our aggressive awareness campaign and alliance with renewable fuels providers like VeraSun Energy will help owners of flex fuel vehicles recognize the benefits of using E85 as a motor vehicle fuel, and encourage them to use the blend when and where possible."

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