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August 5, 2011 | Vol. 61, No. 16

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

While attending the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exhibition in Raleigh, North Carolina, last month, we had the opportunity to listen to and chat with scores of people representing electric utilities, smart grid vendors, major automakers and electric car charger manufacturers. Organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the annual Plug-In conference―attracting over 600 attendees and 250 exhibitor personnel―provides a good indication of where this nascent industry may be heading.

Our takeaway from the four-day conference was this: Even in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the trend to pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids is growing stronger. While the market is not yet flooded by any stretch of the imagination―only a smidgen over 6,000 Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs are on the road in the United States today―all of the major automakers are accelerating their design, development and production. By the end of next year, expect to see six to ten new models of electric vehicles come on the market. At least ten manufacturers―from Eaton to GE to Siemens―have listed plug-in charging units available for sale, with two manufacturers in the process of developing wireless charging stations that allow drivers to recharge by simply parking their cars over the charging point.

We don't have a clear image of the future of the electric car after the early adopters and fast followers have made their purchases. Nor do we have any insight on how the charging units will be distributed, installed and serviced. It's still too early and so much continues to depend on factors out of the automakers' direct control, like the price of gasoline and the availability of the federal tax credit.

We are going to devote a generous portion of the next PEI Journal (4th Quarter, available in October) to the electric vehicle and the methods used to recharge it, from home to the office to retail locations. We will use the TulsaLetter to make you aware of where the market is going not only in terms of  general industry trends but also the specific markets being opened, like the Walgreens announcement shown below. We'll explore together where the opportunities for PEI members might be, and we'll stick with it until the image in the crystal ball becomes better focused.

Electric Vehicles

GAO Study on E15 and Existing Infrastructure

APEA Publishes Third Edition of Petrol Station Construction Manual

Study: Fires at U. S. Service Stations



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Biofuels: Challenges to the Transportation, Sale, and Use of Intermediate Ethanol Blends is an excellent report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that highlights, among other things, barriers to selling intermediate (E15) blends of motor fuels.

GAO suggests that challenges due to regulations, technical issues regarding compatibility and cost could slow the retail sale of intermediate ethanol blends. Specifically, the report explains that:

  • Federal and state regulations need to be met prior to the introduction of intermediate blends. Federal fuel requirements that affect the introduction of new fuels include fuel registration/health effects testing and reformulated gasoline testing. These requirements have not been completed for E15 but are in the process of being addressed. In addition to federal regulations, many state regulations or statutes contain references to specific industry standards for fuel published by a recognized standards development organization, including ASTM International and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). These standards, however, are only relevant to E10, and neither organization has published any standards related to the use of intermediate ethanol blends up to E85. Therefore, before allowing intermediate ethanol blends into commerce, the states that reference existing ASTM International or NIST standards would have to either (1) enact new statutes or regulations that no longer reference the existing standards, or (2) wait for ASTM International or NIST to update their standards related to intermediate ethanol blends. Either option could take more than a year to implement, according to GAO.
  • Compatibility of legacy equipment with intermediate blends is an impediment to quickly introducing the product to the market. Federally sponsored research―explained in prior TulsaLetters―indicates that intermediate blends may degrade or damage some materials used in existing underground storage tank (UST) systems and dispensing equipment, potentially causing leaks. This creates a problem for gasoline retailers who must comply with federal safety standards―specifically, OSHA―which do not allow ethanol blends over E10 to be dispensed with existing equipment at most retail fueling locations. The GAO report notes that OSHA is still developing its position on the use of existing dispensing equipment with intermediate blends. In addition, inadequate recordkeeping may make it difficult for retailers with older stations to verify UST system compatibility with intermediate ethanol blends, especially if the station has changed hands several times since the equipment was purchased and installed.
  • Retailers may face significant costs and risks in selling intermediate blends. Due to concerns over compatibility, new storage and dispensing equipment may be needed to sell intermediate blends at retail outlets. GAO reports that for some retailers the costs to upgrade their equipment could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. GAO also references several industry representatives who raised concerns that fuel retailers could expose themselves to lawsuits for negligence and invalidate important business agreements that may reference those safety requirements, such as UST insurance policies, state tank-fund policies and business loan agreements.

The 50-page report is available at

Design, Construction, Modification, Maintenance and Decommissioning of Filling Stations is the title of an excellent publication produced jointly by the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA) and the Service Station Panel of the Energy Institute (EI). This third edition replaces the second edition published by APEA/EI in 2005. Although the 307-page book contains information largely based on experience from the United Kingdom and makes frequent reference to legislation applicable to the UK, the authors anticipate that the general principles will be applicable to most regions of the world. For further information about this publication, or to obtain a copy, visit either the APEA website,, or the EI publications website,

Fires at U.S. Service Stations provides data about the size of the fire problem at gasoline and service stations from 2004 through 2008. The 50-page report was prepared by Ben Evarts of the Fire Analysis and Research Division of the National Fire Protection Association. Statistic-filled, the report sorts fires at service stations by year and incident type (vehicles, structures, outside fires, outside trash and other fires). Each incident type is then further broken out by item first ignited, area of origin, equipment involved in ignition, factors contributing to ignition, heat source and cause of ignition. Some of the findings include:

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 5,020 fires at service stations per year during 2004-2008. These fires caused annual averages of 2 civilian deaths, 48 civilian fire injuries and $20 million in direct property damage.
  • Structure fires accounted for 12 percent of total incidents but 59 percent of direct property damage.
  • Vehicle fires accounted for 61 percent (3,050 per year) of all service station fires.
  • The majority (74 percent) of vehicle fires at service stations began in the engine area.
  • Flammable liquid or gas spilled (4 percent) and improper fueling technique (3 percent) seldom were identified as factors contributing to ignition. 

Wildco Petroleum Equipment Inc.
and Wildco Equipment Service Inc. have agreed to merge their operations with Petroleum Equipment Service of New Hampshire, LLC. Charles Desfosses will serve as president of the combined firms, which will retain their names after the merger. Thomas Dion and Paul Rousseau will be vice presidents. The combined firms will have warehouse locations in Bloomfield, CT; Chelmsford, MA; and Manchester, NH. The merger is expected to be completed by August 30.
The Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (TPCA) has announced its merger with the Texas Grocery and Convenience Store Association (TGCA). Beginning January 1, 2012, the combined organizations will be renamed the Texas Food and Fuel Association (TFFA). The new association will be led by Chris Newton, current TPCA president.

Joseph H. Lux, Jr., died July 11, 2011, at the age of 85. Joe began his career with the Sier-Bath Co. in 1951. When that company was acquired by Gilbarco in 1962, Lux became supervisor of sales and engineering.  He retired from Gilbarco Inc. as vice president of worldwide sales. He was married to Helen K. Lux, who predeceased him. He is survived by his son, Peter; a daughter, Catherine Lux; and two grandsons.

John P. Hartmann
, principal with John Hartmann & Associates, Evanston, Illinois, has retired. He is a past president of PEI and served as a consultant to PEI in the development of three widely accepted recommended practices published by the association. John served on three technical committees of the National Fire Protection Association and was a member of standards technical panels for Underwriters Laboratories responsible for tanks, dispensers and most other categories of petroleum equipment. He can be reached at 847-382-4010.
Dresser Wayne
will now operate under the brand name Wayne and will go to market with the tagline, "A GE Energy Business." GE acquired Dresser, Inc., including its Dresser Wayne business segment, in February 2011.
The Energy Department has provided a $105-million conditional loan guarantee to help finanace the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the country. The Iowa-based plant will be operated by privately-held POET.

Walgreens has announced that it will install electric car chargers at approximately 800 of its 7,733 stores across the United States by the end of the year. As many as one-third of them may be Level 3 fast chargers. The charging stations will be installed in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Texas.
Seventy electric vehicles will be added to the New York City municipal fleet. The addition of new electric vehicles, to be used by city departments ranging from fire to police to parks and environmental protection, brings the city's total electric fleet to 430, the largest of any city in the United States, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said.

Alabama compliance management firm
. AET Compliance LLC, 3124 West Main Street, Suite 10, Dothan, Alabama 36305, has applied for affiliate division membership. Phil Holland is CFO for the firm, which was established in 2001. The company offers compliance management services throughout the southeastern United States. Sponsored for PEI membership by Marshall T. Mott-Smith, MottSmith, Tallahassee, FL. 


  • LDJ Manufacturing, dba Thunder Creek Equipment, Pella, IA (mfr)
  • Bob Doyle, Hess Corporation, Woodbridge, NJ (O&E)
  • Jason Franke, Town Pump, Butte, MT (O&E)
  • Tom Healey, Nouria Energy Corporation, Worcester, MA (O&E)
  • Patrick Henry, Hess Corporation, Woodbridge, NJ (O&E)
  • Jeff Sexten, Con-Way Transportation, Ann Arbor, MI (O&E)
  • Tim Watkins, Tevis Oil, Westminster, MD (O&E)


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Petroleum Equipment Institute
P. O. Box 2380
Tulsa, OK 74101-2380

The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.