RFA Launches #FlexMyChoice FFV Campaign
April 12, 2016 - Issue #215View Full Issue
USDA, ethanol and agriculture groups, and state programs are injecting millions of dollars into retail infrastructure for higher-level ethanol blends, yet auto manufacturers are looking to phase out Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) that utilize these higher blends. Auto groups say it’s because demand for FFVs is waning, but many know it’s mainly due to the fact that the EPA is phasing out fuel economy credits.
In response, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has launched the #FlexMyChoice campaign directed at automakers, auto dealerships and the EPA to voice consumer support for FFVs.
“The auto companies claim there has not been meaningful consumer demand for these vehicles and the incremental cost, albeit trivial, cannot be justified in the absence of a more balanced CAFE regime,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The ethanol industry needs to demonstrate the continued enthusiasm for FFVs. We want to raise our voices so that E85 and other mid-level ethanol fuels remain viable options for consumers.”
As part of the campaign, RFA intends to distribute 75,000 postcard pamphlets to targeted parties across the country in the hopes of changing the conversation on the future of FFV production. The postcard pamphlets will contain five panels: the first panel is a brief introduction to the issues; panels 2 through 4 are individual postcards to General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (the “Detroit Three”); and the fifth panel contains a pledge that consumers can drop off at their local auto dealership. Additionally, the campaign launched two petitions on www.Change.org directed at the automakers and the EPA respectively.
“It goes without saying that when consumers’ choices within a given market are limited, everyone loses,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “The ‘Flex My Choice’ campaign intends to ensure that consumers have choices when it comes to buying and fueling their vehicles. Thanks to USDA, the ethanol industry, and agriculture, 2016 will mark the largest expansion of E85 stations in history; it is not the time to stop the momentum. This campaign will send a clear signal to the automakers, their auto dealerships, and the EPA that there is a real demand on the part of consumers for more vehicle choices, more choices at the pump and increased access to higher ethanol blends.”