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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Drivers Want a Clean Air Choice at the Pump and Dealership

A new survey shows consumer awareness of the ethanol-based alternative fuel E85 is relatively high at 60 percent. More than 80 percent of drivers polled would prefer an E85-capable flexible fuel vehicle and E85 fuel brand recognized by the American Lung Association as a Clean Air Choice.

The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, serving the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, have promoted E85 and biodiesel fuels as a Clean Air Choice since 1999. More than one million visitors per year are now tallied at the organization's website,

Findings of the consumer research study are released just as E85 fuel, where available, is enjoying a surge in popularity with owners of flexible fuel vehicles -- and as concerns persist over rising gasoline prices and U.S. dependence on petroleum imports. More than 5 million flexible fuel vehicles, capable of fueling on any mix of E85 or gasoline, are now on American roadways.

"The survey tells us Americans are looking for choices that are cleaner, environmentally friendly, and renewable," said John Kirkwood, CEO of the American Lung Association. "And, that they look to the American Lung Association as a credible source in identifying ways to improve air quality. This is particularly true of Californian drivers surveyed, as they must live and work in areas that have consistently earned an 'F' in our annual State of the Air Report."

Other findings from the survey include:
  • Nearly all respondents in all regions expressed strong interest in purchasing a vehicle that could use E85.
  • More than 80 percent strongly or somewhat preferred an E85-capable flexible fuel vehicle recognized as a Clean Air Choice.
  • Midwesterners are most aware of E85 with more than 65 percent saying they are very or somewhat familiar with the cleaner burning, renewable-based gasoline alternative.
  • Eighty-five percent of respondents indicated they would strongly or somewhat prefer a fuel company that offers both gasoline and E85 and is recognized as a Clean Air Choice.
  • GM and Ford are the perceived leaders in FFV production, with GM gaining 10 percent since Phoenix Automotive conducted a similar survey in January 2006.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents believed that recognition by the American Lung Association helped affirm the positive effects the use of E85 will have on the environment.
The online survey of vehicle owners focused primarily on the "Ethanol Heartland" states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; however, it also included subsets of both California drivers and respondents from across the United States as a national benchmark. Conducted by Phoenix Automotive, a Birmingham, Michigan-based division of Phoenix Marketing International, on behalf of the American Lung Association of Minnesota, the survey sampled the opinions of 1,651 vehicle owners. The complete survey and details are available at Information about Clean Air Choice Partnerships is also available through the website.

For 100 years, the American Lung Association has been the lead organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is "Improving life, one breath at a time." For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1.800.LUNG.USA (1.800.586.4872) or visit

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