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'Big Three' commit to rapid expansion of biofuel vehicles

America's ‘Big Three’ automotive manufacturers have announced to the US Congress plans to double their annual production of vehicles capable of running on renewable fuels to two million vehicles by 2010.

The pledge towards more flex-fuel vehicles that can use E85 ethanol or biodiesel came in a letter to all members of Congress from Chrysler Group president and CEO, Tom LaSorda, Ford Motor Company chairman and CEO, Bill Ford and General Motors chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner.

"We need business and government to work together to enhance the production, distribution and use of renewable biofuels," the CEOs’ letter said. "Our hope is that with this commitment, fuel providers will have even more incentive to produce ethanol and other biofuels and install pumps to distribute them."

There are more than five million flex-fuel vehicles on the road and the three domestic manufacturers will add an additional million cars and trucks this year.

The CEOs noted that, "vehicles alone will not get the job done. To capitalize on this commitment, Congress and the administration need to continue to promote the production of biofuels, increase incentives for refueling infrastructure, and continue incentives for automakers to produce biofuel vehicles."

"Eventually, we need to get to the point where most Americans have reasonable access to these fuels at a price that is competitive with gasoline," they said. "Without this alternative fuel infrastructure, the U.S. could miss the opportunity to displace gasoline with home-grown and produced biofuels."

Currently, there are only about 700 E85 pumps among the USA's 170,000 gas stations.

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