Friday, May 23, 2008

Becoming part of the problem

I'm aware of the problems and controversy with E85 fuel, but man, gas prices are just pounding me into raw meat. And my pickup is a flex-fuel vehicle that can use either gasoline or E85. So I drove by San Antonio's only E85 fueling station on IH35 today to see about getting some. I knew I wouldn't be able to get any today, but I had to gather the appropriate info. I know the HEB in Schertz also sells E85, but I'm not going to drive all the way to Schertz. That's too far out of the way.

So I went to cleanfuelusa's website when I got home and filled out the form for an access card to open up the pump. Their Bexar County site is currently not issuing any new cards because of overwhelming demand. Huh. New cards will start being issued the second week of June.

They don't have big signs advertising the price per gallon like all the gas stations do, but a quick calculation based on the previous customer's purchase (still on the LCD display) puts it right around $3.10 per gallon. The location isn't very convenient for me, but it could be worse, and I can make that much of a detour on the drive home to save 70¢ per gallon. That's more than $10 for my usual 15- to 16-gallon fill-up. Based on information from Ford, I wouldn't get as good mileage as with gasoline, but I think with a savings like that it would still put me ahead. I'll be able to figure this out accurately after I've actually run a couple of tanks through it so I can get some real mileage figures.

If there's really is that much demand, they should put in a couple of more stations that are easier to get to. Say, one on IH10 East and one on Highway 151. I think a 151 site would be really good for all those northwestern commuters, although it wouldn't help me much unless I'm going that way during the day--and I do go that way quite often.

Anyway, here's hoping I get a card by July. Also, E85 exhaust smells so sweet. Every time I smell it, it reminds me I need to buy some Everclear.

P.S. I'm familiar with the smell from my previous job as a contractor for CPS. They run their entire fleet of pickups (the ones used by meter readers, anyway) on E85, and they have their own pump. I never drove one, but I smelled the exhaust often as they were leaving the yard in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Filled my tank last night... 21.44 gallons cost me $81 and change. I took a vacation day today so I could have a 4 day weekend, but I've gone nowhere... just can't afford to drive.