National FFV Awareness Campaign Launches in Ohio

Date Posted: February 25, 2011

Cleveland, Ohio—What would you do for $1,000 worth of free fuel?

The National FlexFuel Vehicle (FFV) Campaign is betting drivers in Ohio will check their fuel doors, gas caps, and especially their vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if they are a winner.

The National FFV Awareness Campaign is partnering with national, state and local organizations to launch the Ohio FFV Awareness Campaign today at the Cleveland Auto Show.

The Campaign’s mission is to locate, educate and motivate FlexFuel Vehicle (FFV) owners to find and use higher blends of ethanol to meet the national Renewable Fuel Standard.

Douglas A. Durante said, “With rising tension in the Middle East and gasoline prices to match, FFV owners are going to be the nation’s first line of defense during the next oil shortage and/or price spike.”

FFV owners will have the option to use up to 85% ethanol in their FFVs while also supporting Ohio’s #1 economic engine – agriculture. Ohio has a large population of FFVs, ethanol production, a strong agricultural sector, numerous federal fleets, and automakers making FFVs.

“If economic development does not get everyone’s interest, we hope the $1,000 in free fuel will.

"These are trying times for our nation and we think FFV owners will want to try some higher blends of ethanol” said Mr. Durante, Executive Director of the Clean Fuels Foundation, the group spearheading the National FFV Awareness Campaign.

POET Biorefining is one of the primary ethanol producers in Ohio and is sponsoring the Ohio FFV Awareness Campaign’s $500 and $1,000 “FFV Awareness FlexFuel Giveaway” drawing.

Attendees of the Cleveland Auto Show stopping by the Campaign booth will have the opportunity to register to win $20 E85/Ethanol Gift Cards.

After the event the Ohio FFV Awareness team will continue to work with FFV dealers, E85 retailers, and other stakeholders to launch the $1,000 FlexFuel grand prize project.

According to Mike Bishop, General Manager, POET Biorefining and Vice President of Ohio Ethanol Producers, “Many people don’t even realize that they have the option to use cleaner, American-made ethanol within their FlexFuel vehicles (FFV’s),” Bishop said.

“This campaign changes that.

"If given the opportunity, I know even more U.S. drivers will choose to support American jobs and renewable energy by fueling up their FFVs with ethanol.”

Sam Spofforth, Executive Director of Clean Fuels Ohio, a Clean Cities Coalition, said “There are about 650,000 FFVs owners in Ohio. However, according to industry observers about 90% of FFV drivers don’t know they have a vehicle that can use any combination of gasoline and/or ethanol up to 85% -- or know that’s what makes their car flexible.”

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo are 5 of the 33 markets with the highest concentration of FFV owners in the United States.

The NREL website also illuminates the vast number of federal fleets in Ohio that have received waivers from using E85 to meet their petroleum reduction goals of the Energy Security Act of 1992.

Sam Spofforth said, “We look forward to being a part of the Ohio FFV Awareness Campaign team and coordinating the selection of the $1,000 fuel giveaway winner from the state FFV owner database on July 4, 2011.”

“The ethanol and agriculture sectors are coming in to help the state compensate for lower oil and gas production and reserves while also increasing the tax base of the state government.

"The ethanol industry in Ohio is creating new jobs and protecting existing jobs in rural America.

"If Ohioans want to continue to reap the economic, environmental, and national security benefits of ethanol they need to help us get FFV owners educated and motivated to use more ethanol in their FFVs,” said Tadd Nicholson, Director of Government Affairs, Ohio Corn Marketing Program.

Burl Haigwood, Program Manager for the FFV Awareness Campaign said, “Some people want to try and assign blame for the lack of consumer FFV awareness, we just want to fix it.

"The argument over making the alternatives fuels available first or alternative fuel vehicles first is over.

"There are now enough FFVs in Ohio to justify putting in new gasoline dispensers that can sell higher blends of ethanol (e.g., E20/E30/E50/E85, or E85 as stated on most gasoline dispensers selling high blends of ethanol).”

Considering increasing gasoline prices and the growing instability in the Middle East, which holds 88% of the world’s proven oil reserves, the FFV option should be an exciting feature being sold at FFV dealerships.

In the past, the lack of local retail stations selling E85 was a deterrent to car dealers wanting to sell this special feature.

Today, the FFV option should be on the special feature list somewhere between air conditioning and automatic Face Book updates.

Ed Tomko Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Inc, is the local participating FFV Champion in the Cleveland area and Frank's Sunoco and Giant Eagle Get Go are the local E85 fuel providers supporting the promotion and Campaign.

Growth Energy was a sponsor of the Campaign’s outreach to Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler dealerships during the Washington D.C. and Cleveland Auto Shows.

The Ohio FFV Awareness team will continue to develop an ad-hoc working group comprised of local non-profits with similar missions, interested citizens, fuel providers, and government and industry leaders interested in increasing ethanol fueling infrastructure and helping consumers understand the personal value in fuel and vehicle choice.

To learn more about the National FFV Awareness Campaign, the Ohio FFV Awareness team, or the economic, environmental, energy, and national security benefits of using higher blends of ethanol in FFVs please visit our program website at www.ffv-awareness.org.

For more information, call 301-718-0077.

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