Ken Parrent hopes the Fort Wayne community will walk away from today more aware of what could become Indiana's fuel of the future.
The biofuels director and other members of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council will host the organization's “Get Pumped!” event at Lassus Handy Dandy on Dupont Road to inform drivers about how to get the most out of ethanol fuel and why they think it's best to choose a higher ethanol-blended fuel at the gas station.
“No. 1, it's good for the environment. It burns cleaner, it burns cooler,” Parrent said. “If you have one of these vehicles that can use the higher blends, you're really helping the environment.”
Ethanol has proven to produce 20 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared with non-blended gasoline while also improving engine performance.
With numerous ethanol plants throughout Indiana, the blended fuel has been a staple for the state's corn industry over the past 10 years, Parrent said.
One billion gallons of ethanol are produced in the Hoosier state each year, Parrent said.
But with its relatively new market in the car industry, very few of the 400,000 drivers using ethanol in Indiana realize their cars run on it. For those that do, most still have a vague idea of what the fuel entails.
One of those people used to be Steve Raney, who will be driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 American Ethanol show car during today's event.
“It's such a clean-running fuel,” Raney said. “I'd say people should be open-minded and give it a chance. It's a few cents cheaper on your pocket book. I just hope people give it a try and see what they think.”
Austin Dillon, who won his first NASCAR Cup Series at last May's Coca-Cola 600, will be driving the RCR American Ethanol car on Sunday during the Brickyard 400 race in Indianapolis.
Today's event will also include coupons and giveaways from the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the American Lung Association.