ICGA offers NHTSA “Fuel for Thought”

Haley Bickelhaupt

Oct 24, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Ethanol |  Legislation & Regulation

The IL Corn Growers Association (ICGA) helped magnify the voice of rural Americans, sharing over 900 comments opposing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s electric vehicle proposal.  


The NHTSA goal, released in July, would require an industry fleet-wide average of 58 miles per gallon for cars and light duty trucks by model year 2032. The proposal would electrify America’s vehicle fleet, as the only technology capable of meeting the standard. Fox News reports the administration received over 62,000 comments related to the fuel economy. 


“The impressive turn out for this call to action shows the topic’s importance to Americans,” ICGA President Matt Rush said. “Our smaller communities are not capable of moving towards electrification this quickly.” 


A quick transition to a nation-wide electric vehicle fleet is a concern for Americans in rural areas. ICGA estimates the proposal would cost American farmers nearly one-billion bushels of corn annually by 2033. Charging station availability and electrical power are also a worry in rural areas.  

In an analysis by Politico Pro the company reports most counties in the United States have less that one electric vehicle charging station per 10,000 people. The study said the low number of electric stations highlights, “the gap between the Biden administration’s ambitious plans for EV usage and the infrastructure required to make them a reality.” Politico Pro reports the U.S. will need 8 times the amount of current charging stations to meet the number projected for 2030.  


In September 2022, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker approved a plan to increase charging infrastructure to meet the state’s 1 million electric vehicle goal by 2030. Axios Chicago reports although the state had 874 public charging stations in 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates it will need 15,000 stations to meet the goal.   


“There is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution to this problem,” Rush said. “We acknowledge there is a role for electric vehicles in America. However, we know liquid biofuels are a solution that can be used today to lower carbon emissions. We want them to continue to play a role in this conversation.”  


A pending lawsuit against the Department of Transportation met on September 14 to discuss the 2022 NHTSA Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards. Industry leaders say NHTSA will likely release its final 2023 rule next year after the 2022 case is settled.