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U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

News


NHTSA 08-04
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Contact: Contact: Tim Hurd
Telephone: (202) 366-9550

NHTSA Extends Dual-Fuel Credit For Fuel Economy through Model Year 2008

In an effort to spur the continued development and use of alternate-fuel-powered vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has extended until 2008 the incentive for dual-fueled vehicles created by the Alternative Motor Fuels Act (AMFA).

The DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects that the four-year extension of the incentive means that manufacturers will produce more dual-fueled vehicles than they would if the incentive were not extended. It also means that the U.S. vehicle fleet will have greater capability to operate on ethanol, a domestic fuel. Increased ethanol use can decrease U.S. reliance on foreign petroleum. The decision also gives the Congress, other federal agencies, regional authorities, and the private sector ample time to identify, adopt and implement measures to enhance the alternative fuel infrastructure.

"Diversifying the fuels we use will help protect the environment while achieving greater energy independence and security for our nation," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. "Extending this incentive will encourage manufacturers to produce dual-fueled vehicles and retailers to provide pumps for these fuels."

Passed by Congress in 1988, the act provides an incentive by increasing the fuel economy values for dual-fueled vehicles. The higher values make it easier for a manufacturer to comply with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The act limits the extent to which a manufacturer can use the incentive to increase its overall CAFE to 0.9 miles per gallon for any model year.

The final rule is available to the public in the DOT docket (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/exit.cfm?Link=http://dms.dot.gov/.

To date, 3.4 million dual-fueled vehicles have been produced. The act is intended also to encourage the development of retail outlets to supply consumers with alternative fuels. Currently, 182 retail outlets nationwide offer E-85 fuel, an alternative fuel that is a blend of gasoline and ethanol.

Dual-fueled vehicles are capable of operating on either gasoline or diesel or an alternative fuel.

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