Cleaner Vehicle Fuel Choices Grew In Minnesota In 2016 December 28, 2016
Media contact from ALA in MN: Robert Moffitt (651) 269-7561
SAINT PAUL, MINN. (December 28, 2016) -- Minnesota continued to build on its growth in fuel choice in 2016, adding more biofuel stations, public charging stations for electric vehicles, and expanding the use of natural gas and propane as vehicle fuels. With the price of traditional petroleum fuels so low, it is easy to forget that the need and demand for less-polluting fuels is still growing, as Minnesota looks toward more renewable energy sources.
In 2016, 35 new E85 stations opened throughout Minnesota, roughly twice the number of new stations that opened in 2015. Minnesota currently has 325+ E85 outlets, more than any other state, and flex fuel vehicle drivers on average used more than a million gallons of the cleaner-burning fuel every month. Fuel stations offering E15 gasoline also increased this year. Minnesota is a major ethanol-producing state, with the capacity to refine more than a billion gallons of ethanol each year.
For the third consecutive year, Minnesota increased the biodiesel content in most of the diesel fuel sold in 2016 to a 10 percent (B10) blend in the warm weather months and a five percent (B5) blend in the winter. This past summer, Rochester Public Transit (RPT) began running its 49 transit buses on a 20 percent biodiesel blend, a move that both reduced emissions and saved the city money.
The number of electric vehicles on Minnesota roads continued to grow in 2016, as did the number of public charging stations for plug-in vehicles. Twin Cities Clean Cities, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Energys Clean Cities program locally coordinated by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, recently was awarded a $1 million, three-year grant to promote electric vehicles in seven Midwestern states. Twin Cities Clean Cities is also a sub-awardee of a $4.9 million, three-year Department of Energy grant to promote the use of alternative fuels on I-94 from Moorhead, Minn. to Port Huron, Mich.
In 2016, Osseo Area School students became the latest to ride to school on a bus powered by a cleaner-burning fuel most of us associated with backyard grills propane. Twenty propane-powered buses operated by First Student now serve the school district. St. Paul, St. Francis and Eastern Carver County schools are also using propane buses.
A compressed natural gas (CNG) station opened in a Lakeville in 2016. It is now possible for CNG-powered buses and trucks to refuel along the entire length of I-94 in Minnesota; newly manufactured CNG-powered buses frequently pass through Minnesota on I-94. The state has 16 public CNG stations. Many Minnesota trash haulers and recyclers are now using CNG, which helps to reduce both emissions and noise.
For more on the alternative fuel choices available in Minnesota, visit CleanAirChoice.org.
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