Why a press release from GM on this giveaway? Because it's GM that's footing the bill as part of the "Fuel for Thought" tour. The free (to the driver) fuel is due in part to a Wisconsin law that says that the price of fuel can change just one time every 24 hours. While the usual M.O. for these ethanol publicity stunts is to lower the price to 85 cents or so for a few hours, the law prevents that in this case (and you know the stations don't want to sell it that cheaply for an entire day) . Therefore, GM decided to go the free gas route this time.
As for that name, "Fuel for Thought," I'm sure many of our readers have their own thoughts on ethanol, no? Still, if you're in Madison tomorrow morning with a flex-fuel car, might as well fill up for free.
[Source: GM via Bob from ALAMN]
GM Offers E85 Ethanol for Free – for 85 Minutes
FlexFuel Vehicle Promotion Targets Ethanol Infrastructure Growth
COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. – The rising price of gasoline is hard to avoid, but owners of flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on E85 ethanol can get a real morning rush this Friday – a free fill up with the alternative fuel.
On Oct. 26 from 7 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. – for 85 minutes only – the Cenex Ampride station at 203 W Cottage Grove, in the Madison suburb, will offer the free fill-ups on a first-come, first-served basis.
And General Motors is paying the bill.
GM wants to call attention to the fact that there are 4,975 owners of GM E85-capable vehicles in the Madison area. If all of them refueled solely with the blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, an estimated 2.9 million gallons of gasoline could be saved annually.
And millions of additional gallons of gas could be saved if all owners of flex-fuel vehicles in the area regularly used mostly renewable E85.
"Typically, we offer E85 for 85 cents a gallon for a couple of hours," said Mary Beth Stanek, GM director of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "But in Wisconsin, the price of fuel can change only once in 24 hours. So we decided that instead of changing the price, we would just pay for the fuel."
Promoting greater use of ethanol as an alternative to gasoline and building the nation's infrastructure to make E85 more readily available to drivers of flex-fuel vehicles is the goal of GM's E85 Fall Kick Off of the Fuel for Thought Tour.
GM is the automotive industry leader in FlexFuel vehicles that run on E85 ethanol with more than 2.5 million vehicles on the road today and annual production of 400,000 E85-capable vehicles that is expected to double by 2010. More than 150,000 FlexFuel vehicles were assembled at GM's Janesville Assembly Plant in the 2007 model year and about 25,000 so far in the 2008 model year that began Oct. 1.
For the 2008 model year, GM offers 11 FlexFuel models, identifiable by FlexFuel exterior badging and yellow gasoline caps. The E85 Fall Kickoff comes to Wisconsin after its first stop earlier this month in Pittsburgh. Events include an employee recognition event at the Janesville plant and a free T-shirt promotion at Saturday's Indiana-Wisconsin football game. On Thursday, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will host a seminar featuring Stanek of GM; Doug Durante, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and Tim Gerlach, vice president of Clean Fuel and Vehicle Technologies for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.
Wisconsin currently has 88 of the E85 ethanol fuel pumps of the more than 1,200 ethanol fueling stations in the country, according to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, www.e85refueling.com
Gov. Jim Doyle has set a 25-percent target that all liquid fuels come from renewable sources by 2025. Ethanol can be made from domestic resources that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the nation's dependence on imported petroleum.
The State of Wisconsin is a strong proponent of biofuels and is a founding member of the Governor's Ethanol Coalition. http://www.ethanol-gec.org/index.htm Currently five ethanol plants have invested more than $280 million and several more are expected to be built in the next few years,
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.