SOURCE: Propel Fuels

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February 21, 2017 10:44 ET

Propel Fuels, America's Leading E85 Retailer, Welcomes 2017 National Ethanol Conference to California, the USA's Largest Fuel Market

Propel and California consumers are driving record E85 volumes and FFV utilization through revolutionary fuel brand and customer engagement; Propel's retail customers are valued over 10X lifetime value compared to fossil fuel customers of big oil branded retail

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - February 21, 2017) - Propel Fuels, the nation's leading retailer of E85 Flex Fuel, welcomes the 2017 National Ethanol Conference (NEC) to California, America's largest E85 market. Propel's branded network of E85 stations has created a new consumer category in the multi-billion dollar retail fuel industry, redefining customer loyalty and driving tremendous new value for retail fuel operators. Having cracked the code to high volume E85 sales, Propel sells more than 500% above the national average through unparalleled innovation in fuel brand and consumer engagement.

"Over the past decade, Propel has demonstrated strong and growing demand, and we're confident E85 can be a huge national success story if the Ethanol Industry focuses on scaling up winning strategies," said Rob Elam, CEO of Propel Fuels. "E85 is America's fuel, with benefits the vast majority of Americans support including great value, high performance, domestic jobs and clean air."

Brand powered and data driven, Propel utilizes the most effective modern retail techniques to engage consumers with a compelling alternative to fossil fuels. With customer loyalty exceeding even Starbucks Coffee, Propel's retail brand significantly outperforms major oil brands including Chevron and Shell, and has earned the company a 70% share of the E85 market in California, one of the largest and most dynamic consumer fuel markets in the world. Propel's retail customers are valued over 10X lifetime value compared to fossil fuel customers of major branded retail.

"People who buy fuel are the same people who use products and services from Apple, Google and Starbucks. They have brand and experience expectations that traditional fuel retailers have not even attempted to meet. Propel is a brand and data powered company because it works. We know who the customers are, where the Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) are, how to launch sites, engage and retain high value customers," continued Elam. "Propel's E85 customer demographic represents the largest and most lucrative consumer category - Average Americans. This is the demographic that new technology and growth companies aspire to reach. We're already solidly here, and scaling into the opportunity."

Propel's unparalleled innovation in customer experience, mobile communication and retail technology is connecting with consumers. Millennials are Propel's fastest growth segment, and the company's mobile app has an extremely high utilization rate with over half its customers using it every month. Propel encourages NEC visitors to download the app (Apple iOS & Android) and use it while visiting San Diego.

"The Ethanol Industry needs to rapidly improve downstream customer engagement. Gasoline is a long-term monopoly product. E85 is not gasoline and can't be sold the same way. The industry keeps believing the 'build it and they will come' myth, resulting in poor performance at retail and underinvestment in the long term," Elam continued. "Unbranded and unsupported E85 is not a viable retail growth product, in part, because it doesn't have a branded counterpart in most markets. These are basic retail and product brand marketing issues that most E85 retailers haven't been able to figure out."

This is a critical time for E85. Facing unfriendly EPA appointments and emboldened fossil fuel corporate lobby pressures against the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) on one side, and highly speculative Electric Vehicle (EV) and Hydrogen hype technologies on the other; the ethanol industry needs to scale E85 infrastructure successfully in the near term. FFV availability is a foundational component to fuel choice for average consumers. With 21 million FFVs in the U.S., as compared to 500,000 EVs, E85 is the only current alternative fuel vehicle technology that is affordable and scalable today. Low carbon liquid fuels are responsible for 85% of the greenhouse gas reductions achieved by the California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Without FFVs, emissions and carbon reduction targets will not be met.

E85 margins are projected to remain robust in California. It is estimated fossil fuel corporations spent over $542M on LCFS compliance in 2016 alone. With LCFS and Cap and Trade compliance curves rapidly steepening to 2030 and beyond, California will remain a market of high value customers.

"The compliance value of the winning low carbon brand can't be underestimated," said Elam. "Successfully executed consumer strategies will be worth billions of dollars."

Propel's research and development lab, The Silicon Valley Workshop, has released important white papers detailing E85 consumer behavioral data. Including the 2016 consumer study revealing new data about mass-market low carbon fuel adoption in California. Propel's Low Carbon Fuels in California: Motivators and Barriers to Use illustrates the compelling demographics of the E85 consumer base.

About Propel

Propel was founded in 2004 with a mission to connect people to better fuels. With 34 Flex Fuel and 32 Diesel HPR locations across California, Propel provides new fuel choices that are higher in performance, deliver better value and create healthier communities. Propel ranked among 2015's top 10 private companies in Silicon Valley and is recognized by Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 500". Propel was named winner of the 2016 Clean Energy Awards for Best Clean Energy Technology Innovator by Global Energy News, and was a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Platts Global Energy Awards for Industry Leadership. More information is available at propelfuels.com and by following Propel at facebook.com/propelfuels and on Twitter at @PropelFuels.

Mobile

Locations and real time pricing can be found on Propel's mobile app in the Android and Apple app stores.

Apple iOS: itunes.apple.com/us/app/propel-station-locator-e85/id912207853?mt=8

Android: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.propelfuels.stnlctr

Media & Aficionado Channels

Hi-Octane Society: https://www.facebook.com/HiOctaneSociety/

Diesel Pros: https://www.facebook.com/propeldieselpro/

Propel Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PropelFuels/

Propel Twitter: https://twitter.com/PropelFuels

Propel ProShop: https://propelproshop.com/

Research & Development

Silicon Valley Workshop: https://propelworkshop.com/

The Low-Carbon Fuel Consumer - Motivators and Barriers to Adoption in California: https://propelworkshop.com/research/low-carbon-consumer

E85: A California Success Story: https://propelworkshop.com/research/e85_a_california_success_story

Low Carbon Fuels Working for California: https://propelworkshop.com/research/lcfworkingforcalifornia

Editor's Note:

Video testimonials from Propel customers are included in a video "A day at Propel". More information, screen shots, B-Roll video and photography for download and use is available at: propelfuels.com/media_kit.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/2/21/11G130831/Images/Propel_Station-1dbe4b6f55a7926aa6b4c3823aa30387.jpg

Embedded Video Available: https://youtu.be/TIYRZR5Ha18

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