Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Natural gas vehicles a practical solution"

An opinion piece by Harvey Lamm, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Subaru of America. He also is the co-founder of VNG, a natural gas fueling services provider.
Senator Schumer is missing the point. Congress should be reopening the rules to create more effective regulations as opposed to forcing automakers to support vehicles to meet regulations but fall short of achieving the objectives of the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 ("Democrats urge EPA not to reopen vehicle fuel efficiency rules," autonews.com, March 7).

The EPA report card is mediocre. The nearly 20 million or so E85 vehicles on the road each use less than 20 gallons of E85 per year and mostly rely on gasoline. High cost and limited-utility electric vehicles cater to low-mileage drivers already driving fuel-efficient gasoline vehicles. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have an electric range that essentially saves a mere 1 gallon of gas per charge. Yet, all of these offer automakers regulatory credits and consumer tax credits. Developments in the fuel efficiency of gasoline vehicles have been a bright spot, but the low-hanging fruit has been picked.

Ignoring natural gas vehicles is a glaring regulatory omission. Proven with 22 million in use globally, NGVs use domestically abundant natural gas with inherent environmental benefits (even greater with biogas). Bi-fuel vehicles can overcome range anxiety while a compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure develops.

Most importantly, NGVs are the best application for pickups and other light-duty trucks. These are the most fuel-consuming and polluting of all light-duty vehicles, comprise three of every five vehicles sold and are the most profitable vehicles for automakers.

NGVs are a practical solution and with greater regulatory inclusion are a real opportunity to not only meet the regulations, but to maximize the objectives of clean air and energy independence.

Here you can read the letter signed by Senator Schumer and eleven other U.S. Senators.

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