If you've filled up your gas tank recently you've probably noticed paying more at the pump. It's not just gasoline but for ethanol too.
AAA says gas prices in South Dakota have gone up almost 20 cents in the past month.
Here's how much we're paying on average in the tri-state area. In Minnesota, $3.72 for a gallon of regular gas. In South Dakota, $3.74 and in Iowa, $3.67. The national average is $3.72. E85 has risen at least 20 cents in the past few weeks. In Sioux Falls, we're finding E85 for $3.19.
A local family fun park is trying to beat these costs. They're the first in the U.S. to use E85 in their go-karts. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gas. The company is going green not just for the environment but for your health and your wallet.
Riding in a go-kart isn't just fun it's also environmentally friendly. Thunder Road in Sioux Falls has been going green since 2003.
"E85 has been a nice benefit for us," Ryan Friez said.
And there are a few benefits. General Manager Ryan Friez says they buy E85 locally which supports our farmers, it's cleaner so it's not smelly if you're stuck behind it and it's saving them money.
"We got a 1,000 gallon tank over there and every time you fill it it's $1,000 saved by running E85. And we fill it several times a year and it becomes a huge savings for you that way," Friez said.
It costs $12 to fill up one go-kart. That might not sound like a lot but on a weekend there are between 40 and 50 running at one time. And the faster you go, the more ethanol you burn.
"We're not so concerned about the price of our fuel as we are about our customers having a great time out here and you have to let them race around," Friez said.
The price of ethanol has slightly gone up. Experts say it costs more to produce because of the drought which is partly to blame for the spike in regular gas prices. Plus, more people are hitting the road this summer so there's higher demand. And there are problems with refineries. A few have shut down because of maintenance problems. A California refinery dealt with a massive fire
While ethanol might be a bit higher now than weeks prior, for Thunder Road, Friez says they're still saving. And when they save, you save. The company hasn't raised the price to ride.
"Keeping those prices lower because we don't want them any higher than they already are," Friez said.
It's $4.75 to ride the go-karts during the week. $5 on weekends. Thunder Road has a total of four locations. Three in South Dakota and one in North Dakota. All three South Dakota locations use E85 in their go-karts.
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