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Auto maker, ethanol producer, join forces to promote E85

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By AP/KWMU

Alton, Ill. – Motorists seeking gasoline blended with ethanol will have a third more sites to get the fuel in Illinois and Missouri under a Midwest "ethanol corridor" launched today.

Ford Motor Company and Vera-Sun, the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, announced the program.

They say it will add more than 50 additional sites offering gasoline and fuel blends of up to 85 percent ethanol -- known as E-85 -- largely along Interstate 55 in Illinois and Interstate 70 in Missouri.

Ford officials say the venture is necessary because fewer than 750 of the more than 180-thousand fuel stations across the country offer E-85.

Vera-Sun says the corridor should enable owners of flexible fuel vehicles to travel between Chicago and Kansas City exclusively on corn-based E-85.

Regular gasoline sold in Missouri, Illinois and many other states contains 10 percent ethanol.

The phase-out of MTBE as a fuel additive has led to a recent spike in demand, and price, for ethanol.

As a result few gas stations are willing to install E85 pumps.

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