Pearson Fuels has nearly 250 locations throughout California, including this site near Tulare, California, where the company has its own canopy.
The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB), along with the corn checkoff programs from Kansas and Missouri, will provide California fuel retailers $1.25 million over the next year to increase availability of E85 (an 85% ethanol blend). Fuel will be supplied by Pearson Fuels, the largest E85 distributor in California with nearly 250 retail stations located throughout the state.
Growers from the three corn checkoff organizations met with representatives from Pearson Fuels in San Diego in July to discuss potential opportunities to grow E85 demand. California is by far the largest E85 market in the country, accounting for over 40 million gallons in 2020 and is on track to reach 50 million gallons in 2021.
Prior to the group’s meeting in San Diego, growers toured retail sites in Los Angeles, including two locations previously funded by NCB. “These stations are moving a tremendous volume of E85,” said John Greer, NCB District 2 Director. “One station alone would use about 50,000 bushels of corn in the form of ethanol in just a year. The investment is already proving worthwhile for our corn growers.”
Greg Jones, director of business development with Pearson Fuels, says California remains underdeveloped for E85. The state has 39.5 million people but trails both Iowa and Minnesota in total E85 stations.
Jay Schutte, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council Chairman, took part in discussions in San Diego and was impressed with the potential expanded partnership. “Our infrastructure grant dollars, teamed with Pearson Fuels’ marketing and local expertise, will allow us to increase ethanol sales faster in California compared to anywhere else in the country.”