HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -Val Oakes of Marysville loves her Dodge Caravan. It came with a Flex Fuel logo on the tailgate, but like many drivers, Oakes doesn't know why.

"I don't know what it is," said Oakes as she loaded groceries. "It's just a sign on the back of my car."

The federal government requires car makers to produce some Flex Fuel vehicles to supposedly reduce air pollution. They can burn gasoline or E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Even if people want to buy the fuel, only a handful of stations have it. Besides that, fuel economy drops sharply when using E85 instead of gasoline.

A new gas pump, called a blender, was unveiled in Harrisburg by Rhoads Energy on Thursday. In addition to E85, the pump includes E30 fuel, with 30 percent ethanol. The government hopes more people will accept E30 because it gets better mileage than E85.

"E30, for those vehicles that could accept it, was the best economically and the best mpg's for the vehicles to run on," said Michael DeBerdine, CEO of Rhoads Energy.

Both E30 and E85 sell for less than regular gasoline, but the government uses taxpayer funds to buy down the price.

Right now, the blender pump is only at the Pacific Pride fleet refueling station on Paxton Street, and only fleet-type credit cards are accepted, but the pump could go mainstream.

"We firmly believe that there are going to be many more E30 blenders in the market, or flex-fuel blenders in the market, in the coming future," said DeBerdine.

source: abc27

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