Automotive industry expert Gary Herwick
believes the domestic car-markers will follow through, and that the percentage of FFVs may well grow from there.
feels the industry is very much aware of the approach of governmental mandates regarding low carbon fuels and they see FFVs as an approach that will help them support those imminent rules, which will help accommodate the amount of ethanol that will be required by the Renewable Fuels Standard 2, voted into law in 2007.
That law requires 15 billion gallons of grain ethanol and a total of 36 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2022.
"If you calculate the total U.S. new car sales at 10 to a little more than 11 million vehicles a year, and the domestic car makers represent half that market, then half of their production comes to about 2.8 million vehicles a year," said Herwick, president of Milford, Michigan-based Transportation Fuels Consulting.
Herwick spent 35 years with General Motors as an expert in emissions, transportation fuel quality, and alternative fuels.
While experts interviewed for this article were reluctant to name an exact dollar figure, Herwick
said, "It's not zero cost to build an FFV compared to a gasoline-only compatible vehicle."
and Jones were both reluctant to name an exact dollar figure.
So the manufacturers saved on materials in that instance, Herwick
Another savings came via new federal evaporative emissions rules in the late 1990s, Herwick
agreed that economies of scale will favor continued expansion of the proportion of FFVs beyond the halfway point for domestic car makers, but he
cautions that the process of developing an FFV version of a conventional vehicle is not an overnight occurrence.
It may take three to five years to integrate the necessary changes into a vehicle and to align with manufacturers' vehicle change cycles.
"Mandates could help bring the foreign auto makers into it more fully," Herwick
Herwick and Jones think the car makers are doing their part by increasing FFV production and that GM's Tom Stephens' point about the need to increase E85 infrastructure is a point well taken.