Gas station offering ethanol gas

August 5, 2008 3:49:41 PM PDT
The real bargain these days is gas that includes ethanol which is made from corn or sugar cane. It's about 25 percent less in terms of cost and it's not nearly as polluting.

There are several ethanol filling stations in the tri-state area, the problem is there aren't that many cars that use ethanol yet.

Eliazabeth Walter needed unleaded regular. while David Basnight filled up on e-85-ethanol and Bruce Rifflard pumped in some bio-diesel. These three selections, are available at the first lower hudson valley gas station to offer all three fuel options.

"I've got 3/4 of a tank of gas so let me evolve and see if this is going to be good for me," said Walter.

Muhammad Shahbaz and his brother run the Sunoco station on North Main Street in Hillcrest, right next door to the fire department. The fire chief noticed the cheaper ethanol fuel price and told Eyewitness News he told town leaders should now consider flex-fuel vehicles for the department.

"Obviously taxpayers fund a large portion of our fire district monies so i think fuel economy and savings is an important decision they should make," said Chris Kear.

The station owner invested $300,000 to upgrade his fuel tanks, and while E85 right now accounts for just 5 percent of his total sales, in two short weeks he's already seen business pick up.

"Some people they even drive two hours and come from upstate new york to fill up, yeah," said Shahbaz.

David Basnight bought his flex-fuel pick-up 10-years ago. Tuesday afternoon, for the very first time, he filled up on corn-based ethanol priced at $3.39 a gallon, a considerable savings over the $4.23 cost for unleaded regular.

"we'll see if my mileage improves or gets worse, I've heard both. we'll see," said Basnight.

There are two more benefits. The fuel is less harm to the environment and less dependence on foreign oil.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres

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