Yvonne Taylor was on the way to pick up her kids from school when she noticed the E85 promotion under way at her favorite gas station in northeast Colorado Springs and swung by to fill up.

Yvonne Taylor was on the way to pick up her kids from school when she noticed the E85 promotion under way at her favorite gas station in northeast Colorado Springs and swung by to fill up.

Like many passing motorists eager to get 85-cent E85 that day, Taylor hadn’t originally set out to buy a flex-fuel vehicle capable of running on up to 85 percent ethanol fuel.

“It just worked out that way,” she said of her 2015 Ford Taurus. “The all-wheel drive was the reason we bought it. But we’re happy. The cheaper gas is just another added benefit.” Taylor said the fuel savings have been even more substantial on her family’s second car, a 2016 flex-fuel Ford Explorer.

“It’s only $22 to fill it up, and one tank lasts me all week,” she said.

Taylor was taking advantage of a special summer promotion co-hosted by Kum and Go fueling stations, ethanol provider Front Range Energy of Windsor and Colorado Corn. Kum and Go, which operates more than 400 stations in 17 states, made a strong push into Colorado in recent years and now has around two dozen locations in Colorado Springs alone.

During the promotion, select Kum and Go stations along the Front Range mark down their E85 pumps with steep discounts to entice motorists to try the fuel and learn more about it.

Taylor said she frequents her local Kum and Go station so often that she knows many of the employees by name.

“We used to fill up at Western, but then we discovered that this station has E85 even cheaper than what they charge, and it’s closer to where we live,” she said.

Western Convenience and now Kum and Go, which is headquartered in Iowa, have been leaders in making ethanol blend fuels available in the state, said Colorado Corn executive director Mark Sponsler, who was participating in the recent promotional event with communications director Eric Brown. “The number of E85 pumps had started to plateau until Kum and Go made it a focal point of their stations,” Sponsler said. “In Colorado, Kum and Go has been the most aggressive in terms of bringing renewable fuels to their stations, under the canopy with easy access. Most importantly, they’ve been pricing it how it ought to be priced.”

Over the past two decades, while corn industry leaders were helping build new infrastructure and promoting ethanol fuel, they watched with frustration as stations priced it at what appeared to be exorbitant margins, he said.

“A retailer might price it a dime lower than petroleum fuel when it could have been priced a dollar lower,” Sponsler explained. “When gasoline was being retailed for $3.50 a gallon, there were a lot of opportunities when we know ethanol was being purchased from ethanol plants for around $2 a gallon, so we know there was room to mark it up, have a nickel profit in it, and still sell it for a buck less (than petroleum gas).”

In a business that is “typically a game of pennies,” with gasoline margins usually set at 2 cents to a dime, “we think it could have been priced much more competitively,” he said of ethanol blends. Having at least one station in the market offering a more honest price comparison should help, he added.

“Our hats are off to Kum and Go,” he said. “With all of their new stations, they’ve been putting in E85 pumps, and they’ve done that without any financial assistance from us. They’ve been a real leader, not only in the adoption and promotion of E85, but also in terms of pricing.”