MOUNT VERNON — A few years ago, E85 was touted as an option in reducing American dependence on imported oil. A blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline would be a domestic alternative to imported oil, and, as a bonus, it burns cleaner than gasoline.
The problem was, it was not readily available. It would take time and money for stations to be remodeled or refitted in order to accommodate E85 as well as gasoline. It would take time to construct additional production facilities.
And not all cars can use it. Generally those are recent-model cars with the “Flex Fuel” designation or older vehicles that have been modified to handle the higher ethanol blends.
Now gas prices have spiked again, ethanol production facilities have been built and some places are selling E85.
Today, the closest stations selling E85 fuel are the Kroger at 1240 Park Ave. in Mansfield, the Mount Gilead Sunoco at the intersection of Interstate 71 and Ohio 95, and the Kroger at Polaris Parkway in Columbus and on Sunbury Road in Westerville. There are a total of 74 stations in Ohio selling E85, according to E85prices.com.
Knox County has no E85 stations.