Auto Service World
News   May 18, 2006   by Auto Service World

Big 3 Meet With Top Legislators

In meetings today with Congressional leadership, the CEOs of America’s top automotive companies pledged their support toward developing more advanced technology and building more flexible fuel vehicles to promote energy security. The CEOs discussed how alternative fuels like ethanol and advanced diesel can diversify America’s transportation energy sources and called for greater availability of E-85 at the nation’s gas pumps.
Chrysler Group President and CEO, Tom LaSorda, Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO, Bill Ford and General Motors Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner told Congress the companies support the “25X25” Initiative, which is an effort led by the Energy Future Coalition and supported by agriculture and forestry groups to get 25 percent of the nation’s transportation energy needs met by renewable fuels by 2025.
All three companies discussed plans to continue to ramp up production of E-85 capable vehicles for consumer sale. Today there are more than 5 million E-85 capable FFVs on the road. This year, the three companies will sell nearly one million additional flex fuel vehicles. If all of these vehicles were running on E85, it would displace the need for 3.6 billion gallons of gasoline per year.
While all three companies are working with fuel providers to expand the consumer availability of bio fuels, the companies said there will need to be a significant movement forward on fuel availability to make the 2025 goal a reality. Alternative fuels will need to be available at about 20-30 percent of the nation’s approximately 170,000 fueling stations to support increased vehicle production. Right now, only about 600 retail gas stations carry E-85. Such an increase in availability would put E-85 within reach of 90 percent of the U.S. population. The CEOs said that without meaningful movement on fuel availability, the opportunities for alternative fuels will be limited.

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