Sasha Faught is using one of the new E-85 pumps at a North Highlands gas station to fill up her black Chevy Tahoe. Faught’s SUV is one of 23,000 vehicles in the Sacramento area that can burn a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
But Faught says finding E-85 stations has been a challenge since the day she bought her SUV three-years ago.
“First thing I did when I got home was go on the website for the national coalition and the only site they had was in Berkeley and it was private.”
Now Faught will have 23 retail sites to choose from in the Sacramento area and the vividly colored pumps will be easy to spot.
“That’s a pretty bright, neon green. You can’t miss it, that’s for sure.”
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District led the project to get these pumps in place. They were able to pay for it thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the California Air Resources Board. Mary Nichols is the board’s chairperson.
“Sacramento is ground zero for E-85 in California.”
Nichols says ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s easier on the pocketbook.
“Ethanol is relatively cheap and so a gallon of this stuff is considerably less.”
Back at the pump, Sasha Faught is finding out just how much cheaper.
“$2.25.09 and that’s a huge difference. Regular’s at $2.91.”
She says more than the cost savings, she feels good about using less gas.
“Well, let’s face it, we’re using up our resources and every little bit makes a difference.”
The new E-85 pumps are located at gas stations throughout the region including Davis, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova.