In Nebraska, most ethanol is sold in a blended fuel—10 percent ethanol with 90 percent gasoline (called E-10) or 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline (called E85). Of the total gasoline and ethanol–blended fuel sold in the state in May 2015, 84 percent was an ethanol blend.
The market share for ethanol–blended fuel is shown in the graph below on a monthly basis for the years 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2015.
In September of 2013, suppliers replaced 87 octane regular unleaded gasoline with 84 octane regular unleaded gasoline. Regular unleaded gasoline was blended with premium gasoline or ethanol to increase the octane from 84 to 87.
In 2012, ethanol prices were lower due to high ethanol inventories, and by the end of 2012, ethanol demand was very strong. Gasoline demand dropped 6 percent in 2012 as more drivers filled up with ethanol–blended fuels.
In the spring of 2010, Nebraska was experiencing high corn prices and low petroleum costs.
In the fall of 2009, expectations for a record corn harvest came to fruition. Corn and ethanol prices felt the impact and were pushed lower. Even with the expectations and then the actual harvest record, annual consumption of ethanol–blended fuel for 2009 was less than 2008.
Market share increased during 2007 and 2008. In 2007, additional ethanol operating capacity pushed ethanol prices lower, and in 2008, increases in gasoline prices worked as an incentive for consumers to use an ethanol–blended fuel. Gasoline prices began to fall, but motorists did not immediately return to using 100–percent gasoline.
The availability of ethanol–blended fuel, the price at the pump, and strong demand contributed to the increase in market share in 2005 and 2006.