NHTSA to Extend Dual-Fuel CAFE

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report on the implementation of the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 (AMFA), which encourages the development and use of methanol, ethanol and natural gas, and promotes the production of alternative fuel vehicles.

NHTSA also proposed extending the program until model year 2008. AMFA provides special procedures for calculating the fuel economy of “dual-fueled” vehicles for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) compliance purposes, which substantially increase the calculated fuel-economy values for these vehicles, providing a production incentive for manufacturers.

The report acknowledges that, due to the lagging development of the alternative fuel infrastructure and the cost of E85, the vast majority of dual-fuel vehicles rarely operate on alternative fuel. In a second action, NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to extend the availability of the CAFE credit incentive for dual-fueled vehicles for four years, until the end of the 2008 model year.

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