South Carolina

POPULATION (2015): 4,896,146




Maximum E85 use:472 Million GPY
FFVs in use:549,002
E85 stations:69
Flex Station implied demand:+299
Maximum E15 use:2.1 Billion GPY
EPA approved E15 vehicles:3,108,069
E15 Station implied demand:+2,085

Fuel specifications



Reid Vapor Pressure:

Retailers in the entire state sell 9.0 psi RVP gasoline from May 1-September 15.

Contact information for key state regulatory agencies

Consumer Services Director, 803-737-9696

State Laws & Incentives

Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit
An income tax credit is available for 25% of the cost to purchase, construct, and install qualified alternative fueling infrastructure. Qualified property includes equipment used to distribute, dispense, or store alternative fuel. Eligible fuels include natural gas and propane. The entire credit must be taken in three equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the facility is placed into service. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to ten succeeding taxable years. A taxpayer may transfer the tax credit to eligible agencies after notifying the South Carolina Department of Revenue. This tax credit expires January 1, 2026. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 12-28-110, 12-37-2820, and 12-6-3695)

Biofuels Distribution Infrastructure Tax Credit
A taxpayer that purchases, constructs, or installs, and places into service a qualified commercial facility for distributing or dispensing biofuels is eligible for an income tax credit of up to 25% of the purchase, construction, and installation costs. Eligible property includes pumps, storage tanks, and related equipment used exclusively for distributing, dispensing, and storing biofuels. A qualified facility must clearly label the equipment used to store or dispense the fuel as being associated with the biofuel. The credit must be taken in three equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the facility is placed into service. Qualifying fuels include blends containing at least 70% ethanol (E70) dispensed at the retail level for use in motor vehicles, and pure ethanol or biodiesel fuel dispensed by a distributor or facility that blends these non-petroleum liquids with gasoline or diesel fuel for use in motor vehicles. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 12-6-3610)

Biofuel Blending Capability Requirements and Liability
Terminal operators and other entities involved in the bulk transfer of gasoline or diesel, including suppliers and refiners, must offer all grades of petroleum products not already pre-blended with ethanol and biodiesel, and ensure that the motor fuel is suitable for subsequent blending with biofuels. Terminal operators and other bulk suppliers are not liable for fines, penalties, injuries, or damages resulting from subsequent blending of fuel sold at retail locations. Furthermore, no individual or entity can deny a distributor and retailer from blending biofuels for sale in South Carolina, as long as the individual or entity is registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 39-41-235)

Biofuels Production Facility Tax Credit                                                                                                A taxpayer that constructs and places into service a commercial facility for the production of biofuel is eligible for a tax credit up to 25% of the cost of constructing or renovating a building and equipping the facility. Production of biofuel includes intermediate steps as milling, crushing, and handling feedstock and the distillation and manufacturing of the final product. The entire credit must be taken in seven equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the facility is placed into service. Qualifying fuels include liquid non-petroleum based fuel that can be placed in motor vehicle tanks and used to operate on-road vehicles, including all forms of fuel commonly or commercially known or sold as biodiesel and ethanol.  (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 12-6-3610)

Federal Incentives

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit
(Originally expired 12/31/13 - retroactively extended through 12/31/16, by H.R. 2029) Fueling equipment for E85 installed between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Station owners with multiple locations can use the credit towards each site. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911.

Ethanol Infrastructure Grants and Loan Guarantees
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loan guarantees to rural (population less than 50K) small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Eligible renewable energy systems include equipment used to distribute flexible fuels. The maximum grant funding is 25% of project costs and the maximum loan guarantee is $25 million. The program is funded through fiscal year 2018 but is subject to congressional appropriations thereafter. For more information, see the REAP website.

Point of Contact
Office of Rural Development, Business and Cooperative Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (202) 690-4730

Ethanol plant direct E85/ethanol sales

Click here for a complete list of domestic ethanol producers and sales contacts for E85/direct ethanol sales

E15/Flex Fuel Profit Estimate
South Carolina
Average Retailer:
New gallons/$$/Mo E15 & Flex: 15,800 $2,600
New Customers/Mo:+1,752 
Additional Merch. Margin from above:$5,100
RINs not applied to reduce price:$760
Top Performing Retailer:
New gallons/$$/Mo E15 & Flex:37,400$6,200
New Customers/Mo:+4,155 
Additional Merch. Margin from above:$12,100
RINs not applied to reduce price:$2,100

Want to see what E15/Flex fuels could do for your operation?

Try out the E15/Flex fuel profit Estimator
A Roadmap for Ethanol cover

a roadmap for ethanol

You’re thinking about adding or switching to a new fuel grade on your product slate, and you’ve considered premium and diesel, because those are the fuels all station owners consider. But today, the market is different, and you’re curious about what E15, E85, and other flex fuels could do for your business. Good move.

Download the Full Guide