Installing E85 Equipment
Installing E15 and E85 equipment is like installing conventional gasoline equipment. The same permits apply. Consult with professionals who are familiar with local conditions and regulations during project planning because different localities could require additional steps.
Determine Fueling Specifications
It's important for a retail station operator or fleet manager to estimate the amount of onsite fuel storage needed and determine if an existing tank is available and compatible. If a new tank is necessary, it is easier and more cost effective to install a tank that enables future growth, rather than re-enter a site and disturb operations to add more capacity. This is especially true if the cost of a slightly larger tank is minimal. If it’s a private fueling location, consider allowing nearby fleet operations to share the fueling site with you.
A fleet operator needs to balance the inventory of fuel to store over the typical 30- to 60-day period. Extra per-gallon costs are incurred if fuel is ordered in small or partial loads. If there are other fleets or E85 retailers in the area, it may be possible to share transport loads (8,000 gallons or a "milk run"). Some station owners have opted to use multi-compartment tanks where one tank can store two or three fuel types. This allows station owners flexibility in determining which fuels to offer at certain times.
Hiring a Project Contractor
In most cases, a fleet operator hires a project contractor to alter the onsite fueling system. This is often done through a bid process, especially if it is a fueling site operated by a government entity. The contractor is responsible for project oversight and successful project completion.