WASHINGTON—This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) okayed an F factor determination policy for 2019 model year flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs), Oil Price Information Service reports. This applies to FFVs that can run on fuel blends up to 85% ethanol. The designation also retroactively applies incentives for automobile manufacturers who make FFVs.
Essentially, the F factor designates the amount of credit automakers get to make FFVs. The more E85 that is used, the higher the F factor—and the more credit the auto companies can get.
“We have been working hard to draw the attention of EPA and the U.S. automakers to the great value to consumers, our economy, and the environment that FFVs provide,” Mike Lewis, co-founder of Pearson Fuels, told OPIS. “We are very pleased that EPA has both issued an F factor for MY 2019, and announced their intent to quickly make a determination for future years. We also thank the Auto Alliance and their members for making the issuance of an F factor a policy priority.”
In its guidance document, the agency revealed that auto companies had asked for a quick resolution on the F factor for model year 2019 and later. “However, given the analytical complexities, EPA is unable to determine a forward-looking estimate of real-world use of E85 upon which the F factor is based in this timeframe,” wrote Byron Bunker, director of the compliance in the agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, in a letter to auto companies. “EPA has initiated a forward-looking assessment based on real-world use for the 2020 and later model years with the goal of issuing a new determination expeditiously.”