NGVAmerica uges EPA and NHTSA to accelerate use of NGVs

June 8, 2018. NGVAmerica recently encouraged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to expand opportunities for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) ahead of the agencies’ reported May 30 submission of proposed rule changes to light-duty greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for model years 2022 – 2025.  Submission of a regulatory package to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review is the last step before proposed regulations are issued.

   NGVAmerica’s letter calls for regulatory changes and incentives that would create new interest in and opportunities for NGVs in the light-duty sector by fully accounting for all the benefits of natural gas and providing a more level playing field with other technologies currently incentivized by existing rules.

   More than half of annual light-duty vehicle sales include sport utility vehicles (SUVs), work vans, and pickup trucks—a market segment that is well served by natural gas powertrains due to their power, performance, and range benefits. Meaningful reductions in petroleum consumption and vehicle emissions require practical, economic and viable solutions for this critical portion of the light duty sector.

   NGVAmerica’s letter recommends that the proposed rules include the following regulatory changes: 1) amend the calculations for GHG emissions to provide the same level of incentive as is provided for fuel economy; 2) amend the current driving range provisions to remove the 2:1 range requirement for NGVs and put in place driving range requirements that are no more burdensome than those in place for electric vehicles; 3) provide sales multiplier credits on par with those previously adopted for other advanced technology vehicles; 4) provide credits for automakers that produce gaseous-prep vehicles; and 5) amend the current advanced vehicle credits for light duty trucks by removing the market penetration requirements.

   NGVAmerica highlighted that the resulting rule should honor consumer choice, ensure flexibility for automakers in meeting aggressive environmental targets, and preserve the “One National Program” regulatory structure. The recommendations submitted by NGVAmerica promote the achievement of all three vital outcomes.

   OMB typically takes 30 – 90 days to review major regulatory proposals. Public release of the EPA and NHTSA proposal is expected later this summer, with an extended formal public comment period to occur immediately thereafter.