Consumer Education Is Key To Ethanol Effort

Ethanol Promotion and Information CouncilOmaha, Neb. (February 16, 2006) (AgNewsWire) The ethanol industry is riding on a wave of momentum created in the wake of President Bush’s State of the Union address and new commitments to ethanol by U.S. auto manufacturers. However, the industry must meet the enthusiasm with education, according to Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, or EPIC.

“In December, consumer research showed that 70 percent of consumers still didn’t know what ethanol was or if they did they certainly weren’t considering putting it in their vehicle, so we’ve got a long, long way to go,” said Slunecka. “But with a platform like President Bush’s speech and General Motors’ announcement on E85 and Ford as well, we can start to move the needle.”

Slunecka says while the commitment by car companies to making and promoting vehicles capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 85 percent is great news for the industry, consumers need to understand those vehicles can run on normal gasoline if E85 is not available. Additionally, there is concern about the price of E85 currently being
higher than gasoline, which is mainly due to large quantities of ethanol being purchased by major oil refiners as a replacement for MTBE in big metropolitan areas. (Full Release)