Pearson Fuels of San Diego announced it has been granted $1.35 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to assist in its expansion of its retail flex fueling network. The funds will be used to install E-85, a high blend of ethanol and gasoline, into 19 traditional retail gasoline stations across California.

The project is expected to displace approximately 2,754,218 gallons of gasoline per year, as well as reduce greenhouse emissions by approximately 25,082 tons per year. The funding was made available through CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

 “There are hundreds of thousands of flexible fuel vehicle owners in California who have been burning imported oil in their vehicles for years while a domestically produced, renewable and cleaner burning fuel is available,” said Mike Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels. “The problem continues to be a significant shortage of retail stations where the public can buy the fuel, with less than 45 retail E-85 Flex Fuel Stations in the entire state. The CEC’s funding, matched with our own and that of the retail fuel station owners will go a long way towards addressing that shortage.”

Lewis said stations will be strategically located in areas where significant numbers of flex fuel vehicles are currently underserved by flex fuel stations. Stations are planned for 19 different communities from San Diego to South Lake Tahoe.

Pearson Fuels opened in 2003 as the world’s first alternative Fuel Depot and has grown to become California’s largest wholesale E-85 distributor, with a large biodiesel blending project nearing completion in McClellan, Calif. Several retail hydrogen projects and compressed natural gas stations are also in development, according to the company.