Chicago, Illinois [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Ethanol in Illinois has hit the road, and the exchange market, with SUV style. General Motors (GM) provided an E85-capable Chevrolet Avalanche to the Illinois Corn Growers Association for use in the state as part of a campaign to promote ethanol and E85-capable vehicles in Illinois.And the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) launched the CBOT Ethanol futures contract, which was created to provide a transparent price discovery mechanism and an efficient tool for managing price risk within the ethanol market. “We’re proud that Illinois leads the nation in the use of ethanol blended gasoline, and we are excited to work with General Motors to further promote the benefits of E-85 capable vehicles across the state,” said Roger Sy, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “We appreciate GM’s support of cleaner-burning alternative fuels like ethanol and its promotion of E85, which helps reduce pollution from tailpipe emissions, while supporting our local economy and increasing our nation’s energy independence.” As part of the campaign, the Illinois Corn Growers will showcase the E85-capable Chevrolet Avalanche throughout the year. Illinois is the second largest producer of ethanol in the country next to Iowa, and the State’s six production facilities produced 875 million gallons of ethanol from 325 million bushels of corn last year. Corn grown in Illinois is used to produce 40 percent of the total ethanol consumed in the United States. Industry investment in the State exceeds $1 billion, generates 800 jobs in plant operations and 4,000 jobs in the industry-related service sector. E85, a blend of 85 percent ethyl alcohol and 15 percent gasoline, is produced from the starch in agricultural products, primarily domestically produced corn. GM’s E85 vehicles are capable of operating on either gasoline or 85 percent ethanol without any additional modifications, aftermarket conversions, or cumbersome switches for vehicle users. Currently, there are 11 E85 fueling stations in Illinois and over 300 public E85 fueling sites in operation across the nation. The vehicle loan is part of an ongoing campaign by GM and the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition (GEC). It’s a collaborative effort designed to increase awareness of ethanol and flexible fuel vehicles, and to promote the increased use of E85 as a renewable, alternative transportation fuel that is able to meet the demands of today’s drivers. “We’re pleased that CBOT has recognized the growth potential in ethanol and that the Illinois Corn Growers Association is working to encourage the production and demand for domestically produced fuel,” said Mark Maher, GM’s executive director for powertrain/vehicle integration. The Chicago Board of Trade, a leading global futures Exchange established in 1848, collaborated extensively with the ethanol industry to develop the CBOT corn-based Ethanol futures contract. CBOT is the natural home for Ethanol futures, according to the organization, as for more than 125 years the Exchange has offered the largest market in the world for corn futures and has served as the benchmark for pricing of corn internationally. In addition to Illinois, GM will provide E85-capable Chevrolet Avalanches for use in 25 other states, including: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.