Founder Harvey Lamm Rebuts Senator in Automotive News:
‘Ignoring Natural Gas Vehicles Is a Glaring Regulatory Omission’
VNG.co continues to work with established fuel retailers to locate CNG fueling outlets in established gasoline sales locations.
The firm is also stepping up its efforts to gain respect and recognition for compressed natural gas vehicles, recently differing with Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer who urged the U.S. not to re-open the Obama administration’s fuel-efficiency regulations, in the pages of Automotive News:
Sen. Schumer is missing the point. Congress should be reopening the rules to create more effective regulations as opposed to forcing automakers to support vehicles to meet regulations but fall short of achieving the objectives of the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 (“Democrats urge EPA not to reopen vehicle fuel efficiency rules,” autonews.com, March 7).
The EPA report card is mediocre. The nearly 20 million or so E85 vehicles on the road each use less than 20 gallons of E85 per year and mostly rely on gasoline. High cost and limited-utility electric vehicles cater to low-mileage drivers already driving fuel-efficient gasoline vehicles. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have an electric range that essentially saves a mere 1 gallon of gas per charge. Yet, all of these offer automakers regulatory credits and consumer tax credits.
In Gasoline Vehicles, ‘Low-Hanging Fruit Has Been Picked’
Developments in the fuel efficiency of gasoline vehicles have been a bright spot, but the low-hanging fruit has been picked.
Ignoring natural gas vehicles is a glaring regulatory omission. Proven with 22 million in use globally, NGVs use domestically abundant natural gas with inherent environmental benefits (even greater with biogas). Bi-fuel vehicles can overcome range anxiety while a compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure develops.
Most importantly, NGVs are the best application for pickups and other light-duty trucks. These are the most fuel-consuming and polluting of all light-duty vehicles, comprise three of every five vehicles sold and are the most profitable vehicles for automakers.
NGVs are a practical solution and with greater regulatory inclusion are a real opportunity to not only meet the regulations, but to maximize the objectives of clean air and energy independence.
In addition to being a co-founder of VNG, Lamm is a co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Subaru of America.
VNG itself, meanwhile, continues its deliberate expansion. The company has CNG outlets with such hosts as BP, Valero, Shell and Circle K, says COO Robert Friedman, as well as “in-place relationships with a broader set of leading industry gasoline station retailers.”
Needed: ‘Appropriate Incentives’
“We are currently in our planning process with our fleet customers for the expansion of our station footprint to occur over the next several years,” Friedman told F&F, “expected to include moving into new major markets.
“This will be in addition to our current fueling locations in Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
“Simultaneously,” he says, “our initiatives include working to ensure the regulatory agencies and policy makers provide natural gas vehicles with the appropriate incentives for broadening support by consumers, fleets and the auto industry.”
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Source: VNG.co with Fleets & Fuels follow-up