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ALTOONA, Pa. -- A partnership with General Motors, VeraSun, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will find a suburban Pittsburgh convenience store operated by Sheetz Inc. based here as the first location in the Keystone State to carry earth-friendly E85 ethanol fuel.
The corn-based, renewable fuel will soon be available at select Pittsburgh area Sheetz locations, starting with a store on Route 51. Two additional Sheetz stores will offer E85 later this year, with more locations to follow.
“We expect to be able to offer the fuel to our customers at a lower price than 87 octane," said Louie Sheetz, e.v.p. of marketing at Sheetz. Sheetz thanked VeraSun "for helping us make this homegrown, renewable fuel available to our customers," and voiced similar appreciation for the support of Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell and GM, in helping the chain promote E85's availability and working to increase consumer awareness.
At a local event to announce the new effort, Gov. Rendell said one of the biggest obstacles to greater use of E85 is availability, "especially at the retail level. Here in Pennsylvania, we are leading the charge to greater accessibility as the first state in the Northeast to open publicly available retail E85 stations."
VeraSun Energy, the nation's second largest ethanol producer, has partnered with GM and other retail partners -- including Kroger and Meijer -- to make E85 more available.
General Motors manufactures E85 flexible fuel vehicles, which can run on ethanol or gasoline, and is committed to increasing the awareness and availability of E85 to consumers through marketing initiatives and dealer outreach. Since May 2005, GM has announced partnerships with states and fuel providers around the country and expects to help launch more than 160 new E85 fueling locations by the end of 2006.
Sheetz, Inc. operates 322 convenience stores throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.