Flex fuel pump at Navy base one of 4 open to public in Va.


by Joe Flanagan


Posted on July 30, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 30 at 5:45 PM

Cleaner and greener fuels are on the way for Navy vehicles and the general public.

A new E85 pump opened at the Navy Exchange in Norfolk. For a few hours Friday, people who drive flex fuel cars could fill up for only 85 cents per gallon.

A steady stream of flex fuel customers flowed through the Norfolk Navy Exchange Friday during the event. This is the green wave of the future for the fleet of vehicles used by the Navy.

In March, the Navy opened one of these e85 pumps at the NAS Oceana exchange.  This is the second one in Hampton Roads that is also open to the public. 

"85 cents, you can't beat it,” said Natasha Hawkins. “It was 2.29 yesterday and that's still 30, 40 cents cheaper than regular fuel so you are going to get a savings."

E85 means the fuel is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Most cars on the road today use fuel that’s 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.

Customers with flex fuel cars were loving life today.

"Oh I think it's great, wonderful.  I work just a block away, I live a little bit away from here but I will definitely drive over here to get my gas from now on," said Joe Donahue.

All federal agencies are to reduce their petroleum use and the fleet vehicles are right on course.

"They've committed to alternative fuel whether it be bio-diesel, E85, they're going to buy hybrid cars, electric cars.  So they're committed to the whole renewable fuel program and they've taken the lead on that," said Todd Garner of Protec Fuel Management.

This is one of four public access E85 pumps in the state of Virginia.  The Navy runs three of the four. 

Glenn James was used to the fuel savings when he was on duty in Iowa.

"They've always had an ethanol blend of fuel out there.  And so it's like 99 cents a gallon out there so it was about time that we got it here," said James.