The new proposed rule for the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026″ has been unveiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Included in the proposal are revisions to greenhouse gas and fuel economy emission standard for light duty vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is opening the new rule to the public for a 60 day comment period. Public hearings will also be held in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
In the previous guidelines, automakers were required to reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon for a fleet. The figure is not expected to reach it’s goal, falling short in the mid 40mpg range.
Considering the EPA is seeking input on the role of high-octane fuels, ethanol groups are weighing in on the proposed rule on how ethanol blends can help to meet greenhouse gas standards.
“This proposal provides a valuable opportunity to highlight the benefits of high-octane, low-carbon fuels, such as mid-level ethanol blends like E30,” said Chris Bliley, VP of Regulatory Affairs for Growth Energy. “We look forward to participating in this discussion to show how ethanol blends can help automakers meet future GHG standards and provide immediate consumer benefits.”
CEO of of American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Brian Jennings, provided his input on including high-octane fuel in the EPA’s proposal as well.
“We are very encouraged EPA’s position on high octane fuel is evolving. While previously taking fuel “off the table,” EPA now appears to recognize it will need to increase the minimum octane of fuel to help automakers maintain engine efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, going so far as to reference an octane level of 100 and a role for E30 blends,” he said.
ACE will recommend three steps in written comments to encourage the EPA during their ruling on having high octane fuel play a role to help automakers meet the 2021-2026 standards. One of the steps is as followed:
- Establish a minimum octane standard for fuel in the range of 99-100 RON with 25-30% ethanol and approve a corresponding alternative certification fuel so automakers can begin testing future engines on a high octane blend.
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