pearson fuels expands califs e85 market

New ARB grant helps company develop “greener” gas stations.

Pearson Fuels has become a major recipient of grant funding from the California Air Resources Board (ARB). Under the grant, ARB has agreed to work closely with Pearson Fuels and financially support the company’s building of Ethanol (E-85) infrastructure throughout the state of California, according to Mike Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels, the nation’s first alternative fuel station located in San Diego.

“Pearson was selected by ARB to implement this plan because of the uniqueness of our business model and our proven ability to work with ARB and the myriad other public agencies that are involved in the permitting and construction of an E-85 station in California,” Lewis said.

Pearson Fuels’ model for installing the E-85 system involves contracting with an existing gas station owner to bring to their site a new E-85 tank and dispenser. The actual cost to bring the equipment to an existing site varies from $100,000 to $200,000.

It has been extremely difficult to get an E-85 station built in California as evidenced by the fact that Pearson’s is the only one. Additionally, the permitting process has made it almost impossible for a station owner to install E-85 without proven outside assistance.

“Pearson brings to the table a long-standing relationship with ARB as well as their financial backing to help bring E-85 to the general public. The interested station owner will contract with Pearson to install the E-85 dispenser at little or no cost,” Lewis said. ”In exchange for Pearson installing the dispenser and tanks to the existing station, the owner signs a fuel supply contract with Pearson for the delivery of the E-85 fuel.”

Pearson does not generate any income from the station construction and the station owner will have the E-85 equipment deeded to them at the end of construction.