Kroger Becomes First National Retailer to Sell VeraSun's Branded E85

CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here will open 20 VE85 fueling locations at its convenience store locations in Ohio and Kentucky, becoming the first national retailer to offer VeraSun's branded E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).

The deal with VeraSun represents "an important initiative in meeting our country's growing demand for renewable fuels," said Geoffrey Covert, president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division. "As the number of Flexible Fuel Vehicles continues to increase, partnering with VeraSun allows us to offer our customers convenient fueling options."

On Tuesday, officials from General Motors and Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined VeraSun and Kroger to kick off the deal at Kroger's Harrison Ave. location in Cincinnati, where motorists were able to purchase VE85 for 85 cents per gallon from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The first 100 customers were also given a $25 Kroger refueling card.

As a result of the VeraSun and Kroger partnership, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will designate four additional rental locations as VE85/FlexFuel branches, including one of its primary locations in Cincinnati.

As previously reported, Enterprise and VeraSun announced a partnership last month whereby Enterprise committed to concentrate FFVs around select VE85 fueling locations. A quarter of the rental fleet in these new locations will be GM FlexFuel Vehicles. Enterprise will provide ethanol and FFV education materials and maps to Kroger's Ohio VE85 fueling locations inside each automobile.

Kroger currently operates almost 2,500 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states. The company also has more than 750 convenience stores and 650 supermarket fuel centers and currently has 40 locations offering E85 in the states of Texas, Ohio and Kentucky.
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