Big 3 Automakers Voice Support For Reducing Gasoline Consumption
GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler execs meet with President Bush; commit to making alternative fuel Vehicles, but ask for incentives.
At a joint meeting held Monday with President Bush, the heads of GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler committed their support to reducing gasoline consumption in the U.S, but emphasized the need for increased incentives to produce and distribute biofuels.
According to a statement released by Chrysler Group president and CEO Tom Lasorda, Ford Motor Co. president and CEO Alan Mulally, and General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, a major portion of reducing the nation's gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can come from the continued development and use of biofuels.
All three companies said that they are ready to make half of their annual vehicle production as E85 flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) or capable of running on biodiesel by 2012.
In the briefing, the car executives told the President that there are currently over 6 million FFVs on the road and that they plan to add more than one million FFV cars and trucks in 2007.
If all of these vehicles were running on E85, they would displace over 3.6 billion gallons of gasoline annually; and if all the E85 capable vehicles on the road today,
along with those that GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have already committed
to produce over the next 10 years, were to run on E85, 22 billion gallons of gasoline annually could be displaced, they explained to the president.
According to the carmakers, if all manufacturers made a comparable commitment to have half their annual production capable of running on biofuels, the gasoline savings could increase to 37 billion gallons of gasoline per year in 2017.
As to the benefits of clean diesel technolgy, the statement said that if all diesel vehicles today were fueled with B5 (five percent biodiesel), 1.85 billion gallons of petroleum annually would be displaced and 7.4 billion gallons per year if B20 (20 percent biodiesel) was used.
But to achieve these petroleum-savings goals, the three automakers asked the President for assistance in offering Americans reasonable access to these alternative fuels at a price that is competitive with gasoline.
Currently, of the 170,000 gas stations in the U.s., about 1,100 are E85 pumps and 1,000 are biodiesel pumps.
The automakers also believe that the incentives that encourage the manufacture, distribution, and availability of biofuels and the production of flexible fuel vehicles must be continued as part of the nation's overall plan to reduce gasoline consumption, and increase the use of biofuels and the production of flexible fuel vehicles.