CHICAGO – General Motors has added 26 E-85 refueling pumps to stations in greater Chicago through collaborative partnerships with Shell Oil Products U.S. and VeraSun Energy Corp. The collaboration is part of a broader, national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E-85 fuel in the United States. GM has developed a “Live Green Go Yellow” E-85 marketing and advertising campaign, which includes promoting E-85 in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and with 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. The E-85 partnership and marketing campaign are designed to encourage greater E-85 use and showcase GM’s E85 FlexFuel vehicle leadership to U.S. consumers. GM has 1.5 million flexible-fuel vehicles already on the road and nine models that are E-85-capable with plans to add more than 400,000 E-85-capable vehicles to the fleet in 2006. At the same time, worldwide production of ethanol is increasing every year, and is expected to triple by 2020. South Dakota-based VeraSun Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of ethanol, announced the availability of VE85 at 20 Gas City stations in the Chicago metro area. VE85 is VeraSun’s branded E-85. As part of the initiative, GM will promote the availability of the fuel with consumer and dealer outreach. The collaboration is similar to one VeraSun and GM entered into last May in the Sioux Falls, S.D. area. Shell will participate in a test pilot with GM to gauge consumer interest in alternative fuels by monitoring behavior at the pump. Shell will supply E-85 refueling pumps at approximately six stations in Chicago, and GM will market the availability of those stations to its customers and dealers. In early January, GM announced a joint demonstration project with the state of California, Chevron Technology Ventures, and Pacific Ethanol. In addition, as part of its broader objective to promote E-85 awareness and use, GM has partnered with ethanol champions such as the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition and the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition. Some owners of GM FlexFuel vehicles will receive yellow fuel caps to remind them that their vehicles are E-85-capable; later this year, all-new GM FlexFuel vehicles will be equipped with yellow fuel caps at the factory. The Saturn Vue Green Line, Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon two-mode hybrids are among 12 hybrids GM will launch.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials