Promoting electric drive technologies and infrastructure

Stimulus Bill Recognizes Electric Drive Transportation as Critical for Creating Jobs and Breaking Oil Dependence

Friday, February 13, 2009
 

WASHINGTON, DC — February 13, 2009—The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (H.R.1), passed by Congress today and expected to be signed into law shortly, includes substantial funds that will spur investment, manufacturing and sales of battery, hybrid, plug-in and fuel cell electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure.

 

“Electric drive is a major opportunity to create green jobs while reducing our oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and we are pleased that Congress and the President recognize that fact,” said EDTA President Brian Wynne." The stimulus bill includes critical support for battery manufacturing, recharging infrastructure, and electric drive vehicle deployments in the U.S.  We are looking forward to working with Congress and the Administration to make sure that these funds are put to work in the most efficient and effective way.”

 

EDTA has been pursuing many of the included programs as well as additional goals enumerated in its Electric Drive Road Map for Energy Security, a comprehensive strategy to accelerate the growth of hybrid, plug-in, battery and fuel cell vehicles in the U.S.

 

For a detailed analysis of specific electric drive provisions included in the bill, visit www.electricdrive.org. Specific highlights of the stimulus bill include:

 

▪ Creating Green Manufacturing Jobs

The bill will make $2 billion available for immediate investments in advanced technology battery and component manufacturing. These new grants funds will speed near term industry investments in production facilities and engineering integration that are necessary to transform the vehicle industry and build an advanced vehicle fleet.

 

$10 million from the $6 billion provided to the Innovative Technology Loan Program is directed toward the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program.  

 

▪ Promoting Investment and Sales through the Tax Code

To speed the growth of the plug-in electric drive vehicle fleet, the U.S. needs to enable private sector investment in facilities and infrastructure and promote sales of electric drive vehicles. The bill builds on the existing plug-in electric drive vehicle credit. Specifically, H.R.1 increases the number of vehicles eligible for the credit by changing the existing phase-out trigger to 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. It also provides consumers incentives to purchase a wider variety of road-ready plug-in electric drive vehicles and temporarily increases the alternative fuel vehicle recharging credit.

 

Disappointingly, the revision also caps the top value of the plug-in vehicle credit to $7500 and limits eligibility to vehicles weighing less than 14,000 lbs. “While we understand the pressure to bring the bill under firm cost limitations, removing the incentive to electrify heavier duty vehicles is pound foolish,” said Wynne.  EDTA will be working with Congress going forward to ensure that federal policy recognizes the superior fuel and emissions savings these plug-in vehicles can achieve. 

 

H.R. 1 also establishes a new 30% credit for advanced energy investments, including manufacturing of new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles or components which are designed specifically for use with such vehicles, including electric motors, generators and power control units, as well as investments in manufacturing fuel cells, microturbines or energy storage systems for use in electric or hybrid-electric cars, and grid components that support renewable power.  

 

   ▪ Increasing Deployment of Advanced Transportation Technologies

The bill directs $400 million to promote near-term deployment of electric drive vehicles and recharging infrastructure, which will speed validation of new technologies while growing the workforce needed to sustain them. $300 million is directed to regional deployment of electric drive and alternative fuel vehicles. An additional $300 million is provided for federal fleet purchases of high efficiency vehicles, such as electric drive vehicles.    

 

Congress also recognized the importance of modernizing the grid to support grid-connected vehicles and renewable energy. H.R. 1 provides $4.5 billion for smart-grid development and deployment. 

 

In addition to the economic benefits of stimulating the electric drive industry, there are energy security benefits. According to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, if 73 percent of the nation’s passenger vehicles were fueled by electricity, the U.S. could displace an estimated 6.2 million barrels of oil a day, about 52 percent of current oil imports.  The U.S. spent nearly $430 billion for imported oil in 2008.   

Last year, Americans purchased more than 300,000 fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, bringing the total number of hybrids on the road to more than 1.3 million. By 2010-2011, auto manufacturers such as GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tesla and others will offer consumer, commercial and government customers a wide range of electric drive vehicles.

 

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