EL CENTRO — The first E85 flexible fuel gas station in Imperial Valley opened for business Thursday at the El Centro Market on Fourth Street. Motorists queued in long lines to refuel their cars at the promotional price of $0.85 per gallon – beginning at 10:00 a.m. By 4:00 p.m., six hours later, the price reverted back to $2.35.
Heber resident Steven Gascon refueled his 2013 Subaru, a flex-fuel vehicle (FFV), at one of the four E85 gas pumps. But he didn’t drive-off after pumping about 13 gallons. Instead, he and his father, Alfredo Gascon, brought out their six 5-gallon gas cans and filled them as well.
Julie Scannell, marketing lead for fuel distributor Pearson Fuels, greeted customers and responded to any inquiries about E85.
“We are promoting the grand opening of El Centro’s first E85 retail station,” Scannell said. “E85 is an alternative fuel, also known as flexible fuel. It is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent regular gas, and operates Flex Fuel Vehicles.”
Flex fuel is domestically processed and is available, so far, at more than 70 gas stations in California. Scannell said flex fuel, which is basically ethanol processed from corn, is good for the environment because it burns cleaner and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Within a five-mile radius from the E85 gasoline station, there are approximately 3,000 flexible fuel vehicles, including fleet vehicles, according to Scannell. And for the next six hours, she expected over 50 FFV cars to take advantage of the promotional price.