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Congressman Introduces $300M Plug-In Hybrid Bill

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.



I wonder when the next wave of Hybrid Technology, Plug-Ins, and especially V2G PHEVs, will finally make it to europe.

Currently, the outlook is bleak - US manufacturers are ~10 years lagging to Japanese Manufacturers, whereas european manufacturers seem to be 15 years back.



there is a Fiat Idea hybrid currently under development
by Mes Dea in Switzerland which should be available
early in 2008


Austin TX, is proving to be a island of sanity and constructive ideas (as well as a great arts city). This funding and programs like Austin's will help prove the viable market for PHEVs.

If the funds in this bill were used to help municipalities purchase PHEV fleet vehicles - with prominent decals, the message will be on the road everyday for the next four years. But the emphasis should be on smaller, lighter weight vehicles appropriate to municipal tasks.


I also like the funds for purchase of municipal vehicle. My next thought is to try and put a value on the use of light vehicle PHEVs and their advertising effect on the regular populations vs. the benefit of using the money for HEV heavy equipment like garbage trucks. Do we have any cops out there that are familiar with the duty cycle of a police car?


I think I'd rather see all $300M a year go into deployment. Other than battery technology, which is already getting large research dollars from other programs, there isn't really research that needs to be done on PHEV. What's needed now is some real fleet experience to establish a knowledge base about things like maintenance and operating costs.

I'll have to disagree with the two posts about lighter vehicles. The biggest near term positive outcome for GHG would be targeting the heavy stop and go vehicles... parcel, mail, garbage, buses, etc.

One I'd love to see explored here in Los Angeles area would be considering electric buses on a busway for the proposed Expo Line. If they strung overhead trolley wires on the busway, batteries could be recharged and then allow parts of the route on ordinary streets. Seems much more cost effective and flexible than the proposed light rail. Though I suppose that wouldn't qualify for PHEV since it doesn't have an ICE.

Stan Peterson


Ther si no reason to sigh any longer. the tiem to sighwas the last five years.

The world's auto manufactureres WERE 10 years behind ONE Japanese manufacturer named Toyota. But with pre- announced mass produced vehicles, the gap has closed to less than 18 months and will be essentiailly closed by the 2009 model year.

HEVs, with 25% lower fuel coonsumption with even lower emissions: clean diesels with 25% lower consumption and equal lower emissions are coming. The race for PHEVs is on with the first showing up in the 2009 model year, as anounced by Toyota, GM and sort of by Ford.

If youh ave been paying attention to these web pages, you should know the race is on even now, to build the infrastructure factories to produce the components of HEV/PHEV vehicles.


The postal, garbage, etc. applications are best served by hydraulic hybrids; the accumulators have lower losses than batteries on the very short start/stop cycles.


I've followed the hydraulic hybrid work and would love to see it live up to it's claims. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to be getting the same traction as HEV.

The "Hybrid Truck Users Forum" seems to be focused on HEV.

Eaton is involved in that group with both HEV and hydraulic technology. But all told as of the most recent report I saw, the HEVs on the road outnumber the hydraulics by a factor of about 1000 to 1.


That is heavy duty truck/bus HEVs outnumbering the hydraulics 1000 to 1. Just making clear I wasn't lumping in all the Prii.

Tom Gray

Thanks for sharing the good news. This technology has huge potential.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association

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