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Pure Gasoline Gains Following

More drivers are seeking out ethanol-free gasoline.
March 27, 2012

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Candy Burnett is part of a growing number of drivers who only fill up with ethanol-free gasoline. "It��s good on the car. ��It��s better on the engine. It gets better mileage," she told the Lynchburg News & Advance.

The vast majority of gasoline sold in the United States is E10, a blend of gasoline and 10% ethanol. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that cars filling up with E10 get 3% to 4% fewer mpg than pure gasoline.

David Johnston, who own two Big Horn Markets, said E10 use contributes to build-up in engines, which can be a problem for older cars, motorcycles and high-performance vehicles. "They need that premium gas," he said. "Recent vehicles can get by on the regular."

Johnston offers 87 octane ethanol-free fuel at one store and 93 octane regular gasoline at his other location, in addition to E10.

Sapan Sachdeva, a partner at Burley��s Market, recently started stocking 90 octane ethanol-free gasoline, which he says is better for small engines like for boats or lawn mowers. Customers asked for the ethanol-free gasoline, and response has been good. "It��s been a week and we��ve seen quite a demand," he said. "You can already see people are very excited about it."

The cost of unblended fuel tends to be higher than E10, but Johnston said customers don��t mind paying a little extra because of the perceived benefits to the vehicles. "The people that are buying it are not really that concerned over it," he said. "They know they��re paying more for it, but they believe it��s a better buy."