Capital City’s First Dual Biofuels Station Opens with $.85 Fuel

For Immediate Release


November 16, 2011




Crown Express Mart One of Handful in Nation Offering E85 & B20


Raleigh, N.C. – The first station to offer both E85 (85% ethanol/ 15% gasoline) and B20 (20% biodiesel/80% petroleum diesel) celebrated its grand opening with dignitary remarks, a ribbon cutting and an $.85 per gallon E85 promotion. The Crown Express Mart is located at 1210 New Bern Ave., just east of downtown near the intersection with Poole Rd. The station underwent extensive renovations and began providing the renewable fuel options in early October. “We are excited to be able to offer alternative fueling options in the Raleigh area. Individual and fleet customers now have a choice and convenient place to pump E-85 & B20 fuel seven days a week,” said Kokila Amin, one of the station owners.

Ward Lenz, Director of the State Energy Office at the N.C. Dept. of Commerce showing off the new E85/B20 fuel pump

Ward Lenz, Director of the State Energy Office at the N.C. Dept. of Commerce showing off the new E85/B20 fuel pump

There are close to 2,000 E85 capable flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) located in the zip code of the New Bern Ave station according to research conducted by RL Polk and Associates in July of this year. Across the state there are 18 commercial service stations offering E85, while there are over 236,000 FFVs according to data tracked by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University and RL Polk. It is important to provide fuel options, as there are over 40 makes and models of FFVs offered by auto manufacturers at no additional cost to the purchaser as compared to the same model that is not E85 compatible. FFVs can be operated on gasoline, E85 or any blend of ethanol in between. A fuel sensor provides information to adapt to the specific blend of ethanol powering the vehicle. Ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel currently produced in the United States primarily from corn grown in the Midwest. A byproduct of ethanol production is distiller’s grain, a high protein animal feed. E85 has been used for over a decade in North Carolina by the Department of Administration State Motor Fleet, but has only become available at commercial service stations over the past five years.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel that is made from a variety of feedstock in the United States, including waste vegetable oil, soybeans and animal renderings. It can be utilized in a variety of blends in any diesel engine with no modifications required. In most fleet and consumer applications it is offered at a 20% blend level. B20 has been used by the N.C. Department of Transportation for over a decade and is provided at over 100 state fuel sites. The New Bern Crown Express is the third station to provide B20 to the motoring public in Raleigh, the 28th across the state.

Funding for the E85 refueling infrastructure was provided in part through a grant from the N.C. Solar Center using Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds from the N.C. Department of Transportation. The B20 refueling infrastructure was funded partially with American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding provided to Kargo Corp, the station owners, from the N.C. Department of Commerce. “We are grateful that the state has taken such a forward looking position on supporting the use of renewable fuels as these public private partnerships support clean air and domestic fuel and distribution opportunities” , said Anne Tazewell, Transportation Program Manager at the N.C. Solar Center. Representatives from state and local government spoke at the ribbon cutting along with Steve Walk, Protec Fuel Management. Protec and the Renewable Fuels Association partnered with the station owners on the $.85 gallon E85 for 85 minutes fuel promotion price at the opening celebration to encourage FFV drivers to try America’s home grown fuel.



About the NC Solar Center

The N.C. Solar Center, a division of the College of Engineering at N.C. State University, has operated since 1988 as a focal point for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance, and training for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center and the clean transportation program visit



Anne Tazewell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-513-7831,

Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,