Pearson Fuels to Bring E85 to California

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Pearson Fuels to Bring E85 to California

SAN DIEGO -- Pearson Fuels will become a major recipient of grant funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), according to a written statement. Under the grant, CARB will work closely with Pearson Fuels -- the country's first alternative fuel station -- and financially support the company's building of ethanol infrastructure throughout California, according to Mike Lewis, Pearson Fuels general manager.

Pearson Fuels has created a model to install an ethanol tank and dispenser into existing gas stations throughout the state for little or no cost to the station owner, Lewis said in the statement. "Pearson was selected by CARB to implement this plan because of the uniqueness of our business model and our proven ability to work with CARB," he said.

The model involves contracting with an existing gas station owner to bring to their site a new E85 tank and dispenser. The actual cost varies from $100,000 to $200,000.

It has been difficult to get an ethanol station built in the state. While Minnesota has more than 300 public ethanol stations, California has only one. The permitting process has made it almost impossible for a station owner to install E85 without outside assistance.

Pearson brings to the table a long-standing relationship with CARB as well as their financial backing to bring E85 to the general consumer. "In exchange for Pearson installing the dispenser and tanks to the existing station, the owner signs a fuel supply contract with Pearson for the delivery of the E85 fuel," Lewis said. The company receives no income from the construction and the station owner will have the E85 equipment deeded to him or her at the end of construction.

Pearson's model requires all the new E85 sites to be existing or under construction as gasoline or diesel fueling stations. Site selection will be determined based on some of the following factors:

-- Current fuel volume

-- Station location

-- Station amenities

-- Demographics

-- Available space

-- Site control issues

-- Commitment from the local air district to E85 funding, and

-- Commitment from the local community, including approval from local private and municipal fleets to use the facility.

Pearson is interviewing interested candidates for the E85 stations while it finalizes plans. Interested applicants should apply at