Series Part of Federal CAFE Standards Mid-Term Review
Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) President Dan Gage represented the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hearing (Sep. 26) on their proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks.
In his testimony, Gage called upon NHTSA and EPA to use this rulemaking opportunity to expand incentives for NGVs in the light-duty sector—particularly for pickup trucks, work vans, and sport utility vehicles—saying, “Doing so would provide compliance flexibility for automakers, expand options for consumers, and deliver increased environmental and energy security benefits.”
Gage used the opportunity to remind policymakers of several key benefits of natural gas use in transportation:
- NGVs offer unmatched emission reduction benefits. Natural gas engines achieve emission reductions that are 90 percent cleaner than federal standards without requiring complex emission control systems or the use of additives. When fueled with renewable natural gas (biogas captured from landfills, wastewater, and food and agricultural waste) natural gas engines are carbon neutral—even carbon negative—reducing greenhouse gas emissions by upwards of 125 percent.
- NGVs are road-tested, proven, and commercially-available today. No other powertrain is as sustainable, clean, domestic, abundant, safe, reliable, affordable, adaptable, and competitive across all vehicle classes.
- NGVs save money and support American workers. Reliant on American technology, natural gas is a low cost, domestically-abundant fuel with an established and growing refueling infrastructure across the country. Economic benefits for light-duty NGV fleets are tremendous.
- NGVs achieve real environmental and climate benefits without sacrificing passenger safety.
NGVAmerica argues that this rulemaking along with current market dynamics—growing demand for light trucks, a significant increase in the availability of low-cost domestic natural gas, and the expanded availability of renewable natural gas—make the timing right for Federal agencies to revisit this market.
Gage stated that NGVs deserve an equal opportunity to compete in the market based on cost and real-world emission benefits, arguing for a regulatory environment that does not result in a mandate for a specific clean technology at the exclusion of others. NGVAmerica supports changes to the current regulatory framework to incorporate provisions that more fully account for all the environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles, give meaning to statutory provisions intended to encourage NGVs, and incorporate meaningful incentives for manufacturers to produce natural gas vehicles.
Gage concluded his remarks echoing other calls heard at the hearing for a single, unified national program.
NGVAmerica—through its Light-Duty Working Group—will be submitting formal, more comprehensive, written comments before the October 23rd deadline.
NGVAmerica is an association affiliated with NGV Global.
NGVAmerica Annual Meeting & Industry Summit – Palm Springs, CA – Nov. 13 – 16.