Leveling The Playing Field For Flex-Fuel Vehicles

As the U.S. works toward reducing emissions, the Renewable Fuels Association doesn’t want biofuels tossed aside.

Troy Bredenkamp is the senior vice president of government & public affairs for the association. He’s focused on ensuring flexible fuel vehicles — cars that can run on high blends of renewable corn ethanol — earn the same sustainability credits as electric vehicles. Specifically, Bredenkamp is working on the Flex Fuel Fairness Act. 

The Flex Fuel Fairness Act would give auto manufacturers a 31 percent credit for making flex-fuel vehicles.

Flex-fuel vehicle manufacturers used to get credits, but when that went away, so did flex-fuel vehicle production, says Bredenkamp.

The Tailpipe Emissions Rule allows the Environmental Protection Agency to award a zero for carbon emissions to an electric vehicle.

“If you can assume a best-case scenario for a battery-electric vehicle, then assume a best-case scenario for a flex-fuel vehicle… it’s burning E85,” Bredenkamp argues.

If it’s burning E85, it’s a 31 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions, according to The Renewable Fuels Association. The trade organization is asking that flex fuel vehicle manufacturers get that 31 percent tax credit.

“We have been told by a lot of auto companies that they would make flex-fuel vehicles – every single vehicle rolling off the line with an engine in it would be flex-fuel if they got that 31 percent credit,” says Bredenkamp.