US Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) introduced legislation to provide $250 million in annual funding from 2008-2012 for the research and development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as well as $50 million in annual funding for pilot deployment programs.
The proposed legislation offers grants to state and local authorities to carry out demonstrations and commercial applications of plug-in vehicles.
Texas’ 21st district contains Austin, and Smith is working with Austin Mayor Will Wynn and Austin Energy on the promotion of plug-in hybrids. The Austin City Council and Austin Energy are leading a national campaign called “Plug-In Partners” to demonstrate to automakers that a market exists today for plug-in hybrids, and are enlisting other cities. More than 500 entities representing 41 states have joined the Plug-In Partners campaign so far.