Pearson Fuels, a locally based alternative fuel distributor, received a $1.35 million grant from the California Energy Commission to expand the company’s flex fueling network.

The company said the grant will be used install a blend of ethanol and traditional gasoline, known as E85, at 19 retail gas stations throughout California. E85 can be used in any flexible fuel vehicle and helps cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, according to Mike Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels.

“Use of E85 fuel reduces petroleum consumption and tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions better than traditional fuel because it is cleaner, renewable and domestically produced,” Lewis said.

The flex fuel stations will be located in areas where there are high concentrations of flex fuel vehicles and range from San Diego to South Lake Tahoe.

Lewis said there are an estimated 500,000 flex fuel vehicles in California — all of which can use E85.

Lewis said the company was selected by the California Energy Commission to receive the grant based on its leadership in alternative and renewable fuel technologies.

Pearson Fuels opened in 2003 as the first alternative fuel depot and brought the first biodiesel station to San Diego, according to the company website.

--Emily Pippin