Pearson Fuels, the country’s largest E85 distributor, has opened its 300th retail E85 site. The latest addition to the San Diego-based company’s E85 network is located at 8617 Cuyamaca St., Santee, California.

“E85 is a valuable profit center at our existing stations; we see it as a fuel that will grow in the future,” said Martin Salem, owner of the Santee location. Salem offers E85 at five of his other retail stations and plans to add E85 to several additional locations.

E85 is a renewable, biomass-based, low-carbon, high-octane fuel compatible with flex fuel vehicles (FFVs). The fuel’s usage has dramatically increased across California; Pearson Fuels predicts the state will set its 16th record in 17 years when the official 2022 volume data is released by the California Air Resources Board. E85 in California is typically priced at least 70% of the price of regular
unleaded gasoline.

“In the current state of the economy, E85 is a no-brainer,” said Pearson Fuels Managing Partner Doug Vind. “Part of our 2022 growth came from last year’s severe gasoline price spikes which saw E85 priced nearly $3 per gallon cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline. In 2022 alone, we estimate FFV owners using E85 saved upwards of $200 million at the pump. E85 is both a buffer and a bridge to California’s aggressive clean fuel policies. Electrification of California’s vehicle fleet will take many years to successfully implement. In the meantime, there are over a million FFVs on California roads capable of using E85 today.”

More than 200 additional E85 sites are contracted to open over the next few years with Pearson Fuels. The Nebraska Corn Board, Missouri Corn and the Kansas Corn Commission have contributed grant funding, which allows the company to accelerate the growth of E85 across California.