Kroger Supermarkets First Retailers to Sell E85 Ethanol

Kroger Supermarkets First Retailers to Sell E85 Ethanol

The Kroger Co. got into the ethanol business this week by becoming the first U.S. retailer to sell VeraSun's E85, a branded blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

The two companies are teaming to open 20 VE85 fueling locations at Ohio and Kentucky Kroger convenience stores. VeraSun now has more than 100 retail fueling stations in 11 states and the District of Columbia selling VE85 for Flexible Fuel Vehicles.

"We are pleased to be partnering with Kroger to bring VE85 to more than 20 different locations," Bill Honnef, VeraSun senior vice president of Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. "We recognize Kroger for their leadership in becoming the first national retailer to offer VE85. This marks a significant step in E85 becoming a mainstream fuel option for FlexFuel Vehicle owners throughout our country."

E85 is a clean-burning fuel with an octane rating of more than 100. It has the highest oxygen content of any fuel on the market today. It was launched in May 2005 with seven stations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is now available in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

“The opportunity to offer VE85 at various Kroger locations is an important initiative in meeting our country's growing demand for renewable fuels,” said Geoffrey Covert, President of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division. “As the number of Flexible Fuel Vehicles continues to increase, partnering with VeraSun allows us to offer our customers convenient fueling options.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car will designate four more rental locations as VE85 FlexFuel branches. The company also committed to concentrate the FlexFuel Vehicles around certain VE85 fueling stations.

“Consumers are becoming more interested in experiencing the benefits of fueling with higher blends of ethanol like VE85,” Honnef said. “By harnessing the drive and commitment of world-class companies like Kroger, Enterprise and General Motors, we are making significant strides in expanding the availability VE85 and improving consumer education.”