The Sooner State celebrated the opening of its first E85 pump on Tuesday. The Fuelman station, which is located at 21 N.E. 4th, plans on fueling over 500 fleet vehicles and over 11,000 publicly owned flexible-fuel vehicles.Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, July 24, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “E85 fuel is here today and we are excited to be given the opportunity to be the first to deliver this new product to our customers in this region,” said Kristen Bivona, Director of Business Development at Fleet Card Services of Mid America, a division of Fuel Managers, Inc. and Fuelman. “This new fuel will help drivers reduce the amount of harmful emissions produced by traditional fuels.” E85, by definition, is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The high-octane alternative transportation fuel is a clean-burning renewable product that can be used to power about three million vehicles on the road today. The new 8,000-gallon E85 tank and dispenser was funded in part by a grant received from the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC). The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) was awarded US$58,562 to install two E85 locations in Oklahoma City. Fleet Card Services of Mid-America soon became the vendor of choice for ACOG’s project. The second E85 Fuelman site is anticipated to open soon at S.W. 36th and Meridian Avenue. “Our E85 fueling project began because we had a significant number of state and federal flexible-fuel fleet vehicles in the Central Oklahoma region that were purchased to comply with EPAct mandates,” said Yvonne Anderson, Clean Cities Program Manager at the ACOG. “We had no fueling infrastructure to service these fleet vehicles.” Congress passed EPAct in 1992 to help reduce our nation’s dependence on imported petroleum by requiring certain fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). The Grand Opening Celebration began at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday and included dignitaries such as Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment, Miles Tolbert; Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach; State Senator Jim Reynolds; State Representative Bill Case; State Representative James Covey; and City Councilwoman Willa Johnson. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, a large number of E85 flexible fuel vehicles operated by the federal General Services Administration, United States Postal Service, and City of Oklahoma City fleet were fueled for the first time with domestic-renewable E85. “In the past two weeks the NEVC has assisted with the establishment of new E85 fueling sites in Connecticut, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and now Oklahoma,” said Todd Sneller, Chairman of the NEVC and Director of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “We are working diligently to expand this outstanding source of transportation fuel across the nation. We would encourage anyone that has an interest in opening a new E85 facility to contact our staff.” NEVC is a non-profit organization located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It serves as advocate in the effort to advance the use of 85% ethanol as a form of alternative transportation fuel. Within the U.S., there are about 300 E85 fueling locations. NEVC has a complete listing of E85 sites and E85 compatible vehicles on its website.