Pilot Introduces Alternative Fuel E-85 in Knoxville

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Great news, for once, at the gas pumps, E-85 fuel is now available in East Tennessee, and it could save you more than a quarter a gallon.

Allison Hunt takes a look at what it is, and more importantly how much we can save.

E-85 fuel is made of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, so it burns cleaner, and it doesn't burn a hole in your wallet. It’s 85 percent ethanol and 30 cents cheaper per gallon. The numbers add up to a healthy environment and a little extra cash in your pocket.

"We plan on and hope to always price E-85 less than gasoline,” says Pilot Vice President of Sales and Distribution Alan Wright.

Heidi Parrott was one of the first drivers to fill up at pilot's e-85 fuel pumps. And for her family, money saved means a lot. "Helps pay on bills, lots of bills and it's easier to make trips and stuff if you don't have to pay as much in gas."

And because ethanol is made from corn and other crops, pilot says it's better for mother nature.

"It's better for the environment, it's biodegradable, burns cleaner,” says Wright.

"We've been waiting a long time for them to get the ethanol here in town,” Reese Ann Wyatt is happy environment friendly fuel has finally made it's way to Knoxville. "I have children, so we have to consider the environment, there's got to be a future for the children."

But being made of only 15 percent gasoline gives you less miles per gallon.

Jonathan Overly of the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition says, on average about 15-20 percent less. "You do have a little less energy per gallon, in a gallon of E-85 versus gasoline.”

"But the driveability's very similar and they won't notice any difference in driveability,” says Wright.

Now, you're probably ready to head out the door and fill up your tank, but E-85 can only be used some vehicles.

Only flexible fuel vehicles can use E-85 fuel.

Pilot says there are more than 6 million of these cars on the road today, so is your car one of them?

Here's a list of the cars that can: Daimler Chrysler; Ford; General Motors; Isuzu, Mazda; Mercedes; Mercury; Nissan.

But it's important to note, not every style of these cars is available as Flex Fuel.

The best way to check right away is to look at your gas tank cap, if it uses E-85 fuel, it will be printed on the cap.

To see if you car is a flex fuel car, follow the first link below.

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