November 1, 2007

Canadian vehicle manufacturers call on Ottawa for greater availability of green fuels

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) has kicked off its annual Auto Days event in Ottawa by calling on the federal government to facilitate the wider availability of “green” bio-fuels. The association says that the expanded use of bio-fuels is an important way to accelerate greenhouse gas reductions from on-road vehicles in Canada.

“Canada continues to lag far behind other countries in making greener fuels like E85 and biodiesel available for drivers,” says CVMA president Mark Nantais. “Canada’s automakers have made over 70 new green vehicle technologies available to consumers in just two years. The combination of new vehicle technology and green fuels creates maximum environmental benefit.”

A study by Natural Resources Canada says that lifecycle greenhouse gases from vehicles using bio-fuels such as E85 ethanol (85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline) can be 47 to 54 per cent lower than using regular gasoline. At the event, representatives from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors demonstrated several vehicles that would generate considerably fewer greenhouse gas emissions if greener bio-fuels were more widely available in Canada, including a B20 biodiesel Dodge Ram, and E85 versions of the Ford F150 and Chevrolet Impala.

CVMA also called on the government to maintain the federal fuel excise tax exemption on the sale of greener fuels such as E85, as these exemptions are slated for elimination on 2008; and to introduce new tax incentives to encourage fleet and fuel retailers to convert their pumps to sell these greener fuels. Such incentives have proven successful in the United States, CVMA says.

“Canada should follow the example of other jurisdictions such as Brazil, Sweden and the United States who have all provided their consumers with much wider access to greener fuels at lower prices,” Nantais says. “Governments can also lead the way by utilizing these greener fuels in their fleet vehicles to accelerate greenhouse gas reductions across Canada.”

The CVMA is a national association whose membership includes Chrysler Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada, General Motors of Canada and International Truck & Engine Corporation Canada.

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