Big Three Automakers Pledge to Double Production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles

AEN News

Washington - DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation have announced plans to double the annual production of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) to two million by the year 2010.

The auto manufacturers pledged this commitment through a letter addressed to Members of Congress signed by Chrysler Group President and CEO, Tom LaSorda, Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO, Bill Ford and General Motors Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner. They indicated that through additional production of these vehicles, the country can help secure energy independence. They also indicated that the increase in production of FFVs can not do this job alone; the government must assist in allowing incentives for alternative fuel infrastructure and the price of E85 must be competitive to gasoline.

"We need business and government to work together to enhance the production, distribution and use of renewable biofuels," the CEOs said. "Our hope is that with this commitment, fuel providers will have even more incentive to produce ethanol and other biofuels and install pumps to distribute them."

Currently, there are almost six million FFVs on America's roads. Twenty-two models are available in model year 2006 and additional models are expected in model year 2007.

"We appreciate the continued advancement of the automotive manufacturers to help in the effort to make this country more energy dependent," stated Phil Lampert, Executive Director of the NEVC. "Clearly, the governmental incentives are working indicating that mandated FFV production is not necessary."

At this time, there are 813 E85 sites to assist in fueling these FFVs with the clean, renewable product. More stations are anticipated to open by years end, but not enough to fulfill the demand for the product from so many vehicles.

"We need to now focus on obtaining more E85 infrastructure," added Lampert. "This is the NEVC's primary goal and we, along with our many partners, intend to work diligently to increase the number of stations."

Source: National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition