25x’25 partners urge EPA to issue guidance on flex fuel vehicles

More than 50 partners in the 25x’25 Alliance, including the National Corn Growers Association and several state growers associations, urged the EPA this week to issue guidance on flex fuel vehicles (FFVs). The Alliance wrote a letter to the EPA endorsing the Volkswagen Group of America’s recent request for EPA to issue guidance concerning the E85 weighting factor (“F factor”) for model year 2016-2025 FFVs. The F factor is used to estimate the volume of E85 combusted in FFVs to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions.  

In October, the Volkswagen Group wrote to the EPA pointing out that in the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) rule, the Agency had provided a utility factor for dual fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), but not E85 FFVs. The automaker added that EPA had committed to providing early F factor guidance to E85 manufacturers well in advance of each model year, but the guidance was not finalized.

The 25x’25 Alliance wrote that “This guidance is critical to incentivize the continued production of FFVs and to support the further advancement and deployment of biofuels into the nation’s liquid transportation fuel pool; fuels which are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing air quality.”

The Alliance also pointed out that “The use of E85 and midlevel ethanol blends in FFVs represents the most cost-effective and efficient way to help meet the ambitious new federal standards for reducing petroleum use and tailpipe emissions.” It added that ethanol and other advanced biofuels reduce carbon dioxide emissions within the vehicle and throughout the production life cycle, citing Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model (GREET) analyses estimating that corn ethanol life-cycle GHG emissions are 19-48% lower than conventional gasoline.

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