Recent Press Releases

Thune Introduces Legislation to Expand Flex-Fuel Vehicle Ownership

--Bill would Provide Tax Incentives for Flex-Fuel Vehicle Purchases--

May 19, 2008

Washington, D.C. —  Late last week, Senator John Thune introduced the Flex-Fuel for All Americans Act of 2008, which would create a temporary consumer tax credit for the purchase of a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV). FFVs are capable of running on either E-85 (85 percent ethanol), a blend of 85 percent methanol, or biodiesel.

"We must break the foreign oil stranglehold on the American economy and make a serious commitment to reducing our dependence on foreign energy, and flex-fuel vehicles have the potential to be a part of the solution," said Thune. "This legislation would give consumers a tax incentive to purchase flex-fuel vehicles, thereby increasing the market for the vehicles and spurring innovation in flex-fuel technology."

Similar to the tax credit for hybrid vehicles, Senator Thune's legislation would create a tax credit of $1,000 per eligible vehicle. If a FFV is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get equal or better gas mileage on E-85 relative to regular gasoline, the tax credit would be increased to $1,500 per "Optimized FFV." The tax credit would begin on January 1, 2009 and expire on December 31, 2015.

Currently, there are over six million FFVs on the road. The market for E85 and higher blends of ethanol will continue to grow as more consumers choose to purchase FFVs, which utilize renewable energy that is produced here in the United States.

To address the fact that less than one percent of all gas stations across the country offer alternative fuels such as E-85, the 2007 Energy bill included portions of legislation that Senator Thune championed, to provide federal grants to gas station owners for up to 33 percent of the costs (not to exceed $180,000) of installing renewable fuel tanks and dispensing equipment.

Also last week, both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the 2008 Farm Bill, which includes Senator Thune's Biofuels Innovation Program (BIP). BIP would provide a cost-share payment and per-acre rental payment to producers who have committed to growing energy-dedicated crops for a local biorefinery. This program would also provide a per-ton payment to farmers for collection, storing, and transporting biomass (such as corn cobs) to cellulosic ethanol plants. In total, this program will provide such sums as are necessary in mandatory funding to producers to jumpstart the cellulosic ethanol industry. Click here for more information on Senator Thune's BIP legislation.