Ford, VeraSun Open Nation’s First Ethanol Corridor In America’s Heartland
New Ethanol Corridor Gives Consumers Greater Access to Alternative Fuel
* Innovative partnership between Ford and VeraSun expands ethanol availability in the Midwest.
* Raises availability in Illinois and Missouri by one third as E85 infrastructure development is accelerated.
* Increasing access to E85 helps move the nation toward greater energy independence.
ST. LOUIS , Mo., June 29, 2006 – Ford Motor Company, in partnership with VeraSun Energy Corporation, launched the nation’s first ethanol corridor in the heartland today. The Midwest Ethanol Corridor will boost the availability of E85 and increase the fuel choice for drivers of flexible fuel vehicles. The first phase of the program involves conversion of gasoline fuel pumps to E85 in stations located primarily along I-55 in Illinois and I-70 in Missouri. The conversions will expand E85 availability by approximately one third in the two states.
The opening of the Midwest ethanol corridor signifies Ford’s ongoing commitment to vehicles that run on clean and renewable energy.
“Today’s launch represents an important step toward wider accessibility of E85 for America’s drivers,” said Bill Ford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company. “Ethanol is an energy source straight from America’s farmlands. Ford, together with VeraSun, believes the corridor can help jump-start the growth of E85 as we work to address the nation’s energy issues.”
“The opening of this corridor is the culmination of work between VeraSun and Ford, both of which committed to work in partnership to expand the availability of E85,” said Don Endres, Chairman and CEO of VeraSun. “While it is important to expand the availability of E85, it is equally important to raise consumer awareness regarding FFV ownership and E85 use. We believe this corridor serves as one example of how both objectives can be achieved when the automotive and ethanol industries work together.”
Ford currently offers four flexible fuel vehicles, the 2006 F-150, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car and will produce up to 250,000 FFVs this year. In addition, Ford has also committed to double the number of biofuel-capable vehicles that it produces in the U.S. by 2010. While there are a total of about five million flexible fuel vehicles on America’s roads today, availability of E-85 has been minimal. Out of more than 180,000 retail fuel stations in the country, fewer than 750 of them offer E85.
“Convenient and available E85 can make a difference,” said Sue Cischke, Vice President, Environmental and Safety Engineering. “But it will take the involvement of all key stakeholders, the automotive industry, government, and the fuel producers, the retail fuel providers and consumers, to move toward nationwide distribution and greater energy independence.”
The first phase of the Midwest ethanol corridor will provide more than 50 additional locations to pump E85 in Illinois and Missouri using VeraSun’s branded E85 product, VE85 TM, as well as E85 from other providers. The corridor was designed to provide FFV owners the ability to drive between Chicago and Kansas City along the I-55 and I-70 corridors, fueling exclusively with E85. Selected stations along the corridor are prepared to begin delivering the fuel to drivers today.
The second phase will focus on customer outreach to increase consumer awareness of E85. Ford is currently running an E85- themed ad campaign in selected markets in Illinois and Missouri. In addition, informational materials, including a map highlighting the new VE85™ and other ethanol pump locations, will be sent directly to Ford’s FFV owners in the corridor area in the two states.
“Consumers can realize the benefits of using E85 today. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made from corn grown in the Midwest. E85 is good for our economy, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and burns cleaner than regular gasoline, which is better for our environment,” said Bill Honnef, VeraSun’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We applaud Ford for its commitment to produce flexible fuel vehicles and for teaming with us to promote E85 awareness and availability.”
Ford has been a leader in developing ethanol-capable vehicles powered by E85 ethanol, a completely renewable fuel that is most commonly made from corn. Ford has sought to leverage the benefits of ethanol dating back to the early 1900s, when the Model T was built to be flex-fuel capable.
Consumers who want to learn more about the benefits of E85 use and to find E85 stations can visit www.E85fuel.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
About VeraSun Energy Corporation
VeraSun Energy Corporation is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. based on production capacity. The company has two operational production facilities located in Aurora, South Dakota and Fort Dodge, Iowa, is constructing a third facility in Charles City, Iowa, and has two additional facilities under development in Welcome, Minnesota and Northwestern Iowa.
Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun would have an annual production capacity of approximately 560 million gallons of ethanol per year. For more information, please visit www.verasun.com or www.VE85.com.
- Contact Information
- Jim Cain
- Manager, North American Marketing and Sales Communications
- Ford Motor Company
- Contact via E-mail
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