Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that the state will begin incorporating E15 fuel into its state vehicle fleet. The fuel, according to Gov. Daugaard, will be made available during a test period at four major fuel sites across the state during the upcoming months.
"South Dakota is a large ethanol producer, and our state has significantly benefitted from the ethanol industry," said Gov. Daugaard. "The goal is to use more of our homegrown fuel by using E15, the newest fuel in the marketplace."
During the test period, the state will utilize E15 for flex fuel vehicles and some of its newer non-flex fuel models. Currently, the state fueling sites primarily provide E10 fuel for all of the state's flex fuel vehicles and other gasoline vehicles. Flex fuel vehicles make up over 58 percent of the fleet or 1,950 vehicles.
The test period for E15 will be about six months long. After the trial, the state will evaluate how the use of the E15 blend affected the fleet and determine how to efficiently utilize homegrown ethanol in the future. The test fuel sites are located in Brookings, Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
"Gov. Daugaard is providing tremendous leadership and vision by encouraging the use of E15 in the state's vehicle fleet, a move which will support South Dakota's farmers and ethanol industry," said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol. "We are confident state employees will find E15 a safe, reliable and affordable fuel choice."
According to Dana Siefkes-Lewis, president of South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association, ethanol is a $3.8 billion industry in South Dakota.