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 2012, 79 percent was an ethanol blend.
Ethanol–blended fuel's market share fell in 2001 when the ethanol rack price began rising faster than the gasoline rack price. The graph below indicates a significant increase in market share for ethanol–blended fuel during 2002 to 2005. The availability of ethanol–blended fuel, the price at the pump, and strong demand contributed to the increase. The number of fuel stations offering ethanol–blended fuel was on the rise, which increased the availability of ethanol–blended fuel. The ethanol–blended fuel pump price became favorable in comparison to the regular unleaded gasoline pump price when crude oil prices increased. A possible factor in the lower market share during 2006 was the price premium of ethanol to gasoline. In 2007, market share regained its upward momentum with additional ethanol operating capacity pushing ethanol prices lower. Market share continued its rise through most of 2008.
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, ethanol–blended fuel's market share did not reflect enough growth to overcome 2008's record market share.
In 2010, although Nebraska was experiencing high corn prices and low petroleum costs, ethanol–blended fuel's market share rose to a new record high of 76 percent. Ethanol–blended fuel's market share in 2011 made another record high at 81 percent.
Gasoline demand dropped 6 percent in 2012 as more drivers filled up with ethanol–blended fuels. Even though ethanol prices were lower due to high ethanol inventories and, by the end of 2012, ethanol demand was very strong, ethanol–blended fuel's market share dipped to 79 percent.