More and more vehicles are being made to handle the much hyped E85 fuel but the infrastructure still hasn't caught up as a USA Today story points out. For the 6.8 million E85 compatible vehicles in the U.S., there are just 1,490 stations that offer it, with most of them in the Midwest.
In the Los Angeles area, there's only one station that serves E85 and a recent GM promotion brought drivers out in droves for specially priced E85 at 85.9 cents per gallon.
Promotions like this one have been staged around the country to raise awareness of E85, plugged as a home-grown, environmentally sound fuel. But even officials of GM, which makes the most flex-fuel vehicles that can burn E85, say they are frustrated by the slow rollout of pumps around the country.
Years ago, when I was still representing Chevrolet at auto shows, people would always ask about green vehicles and the response was we have many capable of handling E85 fuel. Unfortunately, consumers back then (and now) would respond by saying, "Great, but where I can buy it?" The answer to that question isn't much better now and that's partly due to government regulations, such as in California where permiting for vapor recovery systems has created hurdles.