US Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) this week introduced the Light-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Parity Act of 2018, legislation that would ensure federal agencies give the same regulatory treatment to natural gas vehicles that’s provided to electric vehicles.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Sen. Inhofe for setting a path to advance the goals of our nation,” said Tom Rastin, executive vice president of Ariel. “America is the No. 1 producer of natural gas in the world, yet only 200,000 of the 25 million natural gas vehicles worldwide reside in the US.
“This legislation will leverage our abundant domestic resources with natural gas vehicles to provide everyday Americans and businesses with the benefits of a more affordable and more stable priced fuel, and fuel choice, while achieving our nation’s economic, environmental and energy independence, and global energy leadership objectives.”
Added Harvey Lamm, VNG co-founder: “This legislation will help protect the most important and most popular product lines for the US auto industry: pick-ups and other light-duty trucks. It will provide automakers with a cost-effective alternative regulatory compliance pathway, recognizing the needs and demands of vehicle owners and the changing dynamics of the market since the 2012 EPA rulemaking.”
Market changes since the 2012 rulemaking include abundant US-sourced natural gas, large and expanding light-duty truck sales, which are 68 percent of new vehicle sales, increasing renewable natural gas supply (e.g., biogas from agriculture, landfills and similar facilities), which accounts for 42 percent of NGV fueling across the nation and offers greenhouse gas emission reductions of 70 to 130 percent or more, and global natural gas vehicle growth from 16 million to 25 million.
Further, market receptivity and technology of electric vehicles is uncertain, particularly for light-duty trucks due to the weight and utility of these vehicles, the companies said.
“Natural gas vehicles have great potential for widespread adoption because of their use of reliable, low-cost, American-made energy,” Inhofe said. “This bill addresses one of the biggest hurdles to the production of more natural gas vehicles: regulation. By providing regulatory parity between natural gas and electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles can have a level playing field in the marketplace.”