The good news is that the public likes the idea of ethanol and alternative fuels, according to a survey from Pavillion Technologies. The bad news is they can't find it and don't know they are using it.
The company, which develops software for making ethanol operations run more efficiency, recently conducted a consumer survey which found that 47 percent of Americans would pay a premium for biofuels like ethanol. 59 percent of Americans also consider dependence on foreign oil imports a big problem for the U.S.
Only five percent of Americans, however, think they actually consume ethanol. In reality, 46 percent get some ethanol--usually in very small amounts--when they fill up, said Pavillion chief marketing officer Matt Tormollen.
Even if you own a car that can run E85 or high levels of ethanol, it's not easy to come by. There are two gas stations in Austin, Texas with E85, he said. Three years ago, the closest station was San Antonio.
Less than one percent of stations nationwide offer E85. Most of these stations, naturally, aren't part of the nationwide petroleum chains like ChevronTexaco. They are the pumps at gas stations.