Propel Fuels will fuel up Enterprise Rent-A-Car's flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) fleet in Sacramento, Calif., with E85, a blend of roughly 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
Enterprise boasts the largest FFV rental fleet in the U.S., with more than 73,000 vehicles able to run on either E85 or gasoline.
A dozen Enterprise locations in Sacramento will participate in the Propel E85 program beginning this quarter. Propel recently opened five Clean Fuel Points, retail sites that sell E85 as well as biodiesel.
Sacramento offers an "eco-friendly" market ready to try alternative fuels such as E85, an official for the rental car company suggests. "We've seen an increase in customers looking for more environmentally friendly options from us," said Chris Littlejohn, Sacramento area manager of Enterprise. "We continue to increase our offerings of alternative technologies and environmentally friendly vehicles, and this includes Flex Fuel vehicles, but up until now there were few places for our customers to purchase E85 fuel. With Propel's launch, and their plans to expand, we can now offer our customers more options and with better access to low-carbon fuels."
"All it takes is a few leading companies to put a stake in the ground and say they're going to be part of the solution," said Rob Elam, president and co- founder of Propel Fuels. "Enterprise is making it easy for consumers to drive Flex Fuel vehicles while they are on business or vacation. It's a great way for people to experience the satisfaction of purchasing clean, domestically produced fuels. Our hope is that this translates into greater consumer demand for environmentally friendly fuels and vehicles."
Enterprise offers driver education along with FFV rental to ensure motorists understand the fuel mileage loss that accompanies E85 use. Ethanol offers roughly 70 percent of the energy content of an equivalent amount of gasoline.
Since rolling out its FFV rental program in June 2007, Enterprise has steadily increased the number of flex-fuel vehicles in its fleet. A month later, Enterprise entered a partnership to place its FFVs near VeraSun-supplied