Limo Vehicle Expo To Inform Regulators Of Green Vehicle Options

LCT Staff
Posted on September 9, 2010

The GCLA’s annual summer expo on Tuesday will draw some top state airport officials who will talk with operators about proposed green vehicle policies and get a firsthand look at green vehicles on the livery market.

LOS ANGELES — California has emerged as the focal point for progressive green vehicle policies and emissions rules and how they will likely affect chauffeured transportation operators.

A proposed green vehicle policy at the San Francisco International Airport — which would mandate all green fleet vehicles accessing airport property by 2013 — encapsulates the challenges facing limousine operators from aggressive environmental rules. What happens at SFO, could very likely resonate nationwide with regulating agencies.

At issue is the fact that most vehicle manufacturers have not yet developed durable, efficient, luxury green vehicles that can provide the same performance, price, and amenities as traditional limousine vehicles. But airports and local governing authorities, such as SFO, are under pressure to cut carbon emissions and comply with tougher environmental regulations related to climate change.

So how does the chauffeured transportation industry continue to provide its high standard of service with its big, black luxury vehicles while not running afoul of new emissions requirements and vehicle restrictions? Are regulators willing to wait and phase in policies so vehicle OEMs can catch up with product lines that meet greener rules?

To eventually find answers to those questions, leaders and lobbyists from the GREATER CALIFORNIA LIVERY ASSOCIATION have started a dialogue with SFO officials to encourage the development of a sensible green vehicle policy that can take all concerns into account. During the most recent meeting with airport officials on Sept. 1, the two sides aired their concerns and scheduled more meetings. As an added constructive step, the GCLA and SFO agreed to have several airport officials meet with GCLA members Tuesday in Los Angeles.

At its expo, the GCLA will be hosting displays from major vehicle manufacturers so regulators can learn more about the types of green vehicles available, and their possible limitations. The guests scheduled to appear include Henry Thompson, assistant deputy airport director at SFO; Roger Hooson, senior planner at SFO; and Abubaker Azam, director of landside operations at SFO. Officials from other airports in the state have been invited as well.

GCLA representatives hope a proposed timeline to phase-in SFO’s green vehicle policies, set to start in January 2011, can be stretched out to at least 2016 to accommodate green vehicle transitions and allow more time for OEMs to build greener luxury vehicles. To that end, the GCLA has formed an in-house sustainability committee that is working on a comprehensive approach to cutting carbon emissions from the chauffeured transportation industry, and help educate regulators about industry needs and goals.

The GCLA meeting and expo starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd. Los Angeles.


Source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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