4 April 2000

In his Keynote Address at the PNGV Concept Car Rollout on March 30 in Washington, DC, Vice President Gore applauded a major milestone in the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles—the unveiling of three concept cars demonstrating the technical feasibility of creating cars capable of getting 80 miles per gallon. Gore welcomed new commitments by automakers to begin marketing increased fuel efficiency vehicles that incorporate these technologies in three to four years.

"For the first time, we look forward to a date when remarkable new technologies like this will be moving from research labs to showrooms and dealerships across the country," Gore said. "These leading auto makers believe that within four years, cars with greater fuel efficiency will be mass-produced, and ready for purchase by the American people. That is critical to our prosperity and our future."

The Vice President also stressed the importance of the PNGV vehicles for both reducing pollution and decreasing the dependence of the US on foreign oil. Currently, the United States imports 50% of its oil consumption with its reliance on foreign resources expected to grow to 60% by 2010. Production of energy efficient cars provides the country with a long-term solution to the gas crisis.

Gore called on Congress to help make fuel efficient cars affordable to the American people by approving the Administration's proposed tax credit worth up to $4,000 for the purchase of qualifying vehicles. He also announced an expansion of the PNGV research program directed to technologies that would produce higher fuel economy in SUVs, minivans and other light-duty trucks.

The first concept cars produced under the PNGV program were unveiled during the Detroit Auto Show in January. At the Concept Car Rollout event last week, all three concept vehicles were displayed by executives of General Motors, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. All cars employed hybrid diesel-electric powertrains and lightweight materials to increase fuel economy.

PNGV, launched by the Vice President in 1993, is a unique research collaboration between federal agencies and USCAR, a consortium representing DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors. The partnership's goal is to produce a "production prototype" by 2004 of a full sized car that will get 80 mpg (2.94 l/100km) fuel economy with no sacrifice in safety performance, affordability or compliance with emission standards.

Source: Office of the Vice President