As I understand it, E85 has been more commonly available in the midwest US states. This story wouldn’t have really tweaked my antannae except for the geography involved.
Saab’s market is essentially US-wide, but there is a traditional concentration in the North East. As Saab continue to tick down to a possible Biopower launch in the US, it’s thereby notable that E85 is just becoming available in that region:
Presiding over the event, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell said, "One of the biggest obstacles to greater use of E85 ethanol 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…..
This is a small part in a growing move around the US:
Today’s announcement marks the fourth collaboration in four states that GM and VeraSun have entered with a third-party retailer since the companies began working together to promote awareness of E85. The first initiative, launched last May in Sioux Falls, S.D., put VeraSun’s VE85(TM) pumps in seven prominent local stations. In the Chicago metro area, what began as a 20-location effort in February has already expanded to include 32 sites, and the initial four outlets in Minneapolis-St. Paul have grown to 16 in the last four months.
The availability of E85 in a traditional marketplace gives that small, extra impetus for the model to go ahead. It’s small stuff, I know. But how do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.