NEW ORLEANS — Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen announced today at the National Ethanol Conference (NEC) the launch of the “Flex My Choice” campaign, which is designed to voice consumer support for flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). This effort is aimed directly at automakers, auto dealerships, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dinneen said the time is ripe for such a campaign because, as the government phases out CAFE credits for producing FFVs, automakers have begun to limit the total number of FFV models that roll off their assembly lines.
“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 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 Robert White, RFA’s vice president of industry relations. “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.”