Contractor distributes fuel additive |

Contractor distributes fuel additive

Susan Wood
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Frank Champlin holds a bottle of Ethos Fuel Re-formulator, a product that reduces emissions and increases fuel economy.

South Lake Tahoe electrical contractor Frank Champlin has brought the environmental term “Think globally, act locally” to his hometown.

Champlin, who’s been in business for seven years, hopes to expand his energy to distributing Ethos, a fuel additive designed to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions and maintenance. He now buys it on the Internet for his four vehicles.

After hearing about the substance through a fellow contractor four months ago, he used it in his three work vehicles and household car. In some cases, Champlin has received four miles per gallon more than his prior mileage – with three tanks stretched to four for his company van. The mileage has been so good, he’s extended his business coverage to Reno.

And once he crunched the calculator upon getting a smog test, the businessman figured he’s eliminated four tons of carbon emissions from the air in Lake Tahoe. The source of emissions is commonly referred to as unburned fuel.

The “aha” product discovery has turned on a lightbulb for Champlin. He’s exploring launching another company on the South Shore called American Powerhouse, which would explore alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, biodiesel and ethanol.

“We’re so dependent on foreign oil so bad, we’ve been held over the barrel by extremists,” he said. “It starts with the individual.”

He said he was encouraged to pursue taking part in a green-minded economy when Tahoe’s District 5 Supervisor Norma Santiago won her seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. Santiago ran on a platform that urged alternative energy as a form of commerce in Tahoe.

Champlin, 50 – who identified himself as an “environmental guy since the ’70s,” plans to take his crusade and product to an upcoming City Council meeting in the hopes staff may use ethos in its fleet of vehicles.

“We’d like to see information on the product,” Public Works Director John Greenhut said. “With something like that, a lot of these things don’t do much, but we’d take a look at it.”

According to the 4-E Corporation, Ethos FR is non-toxic, non-hazardous additive that works with any fuel in trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, ships, railroads and generators.

Ethos sells in 12-, 32- and 64-ounce bottles, along with a gallon container and 55-gallon drum. The manufacturer, which can be reached at, listed commercial fleets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Asia and Europe as using the formula.

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