US legislators have introduced similar bi-partisan bills in both House and Senate to support the rapid, near-term deployment of plug-in electric drive motor vehicles with up to some $11 billion in funding. Full text of the two bills as introduced is not yet published.
Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced S.3442, which has been referred to the Committee on Finance. Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Judy Biggert (IL), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R.5442, the “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010,” which has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform; Science and Technology; Ways and Means; and Transportation and Infrastructure.
The bills would create “deployment communities” across the country, where targeted incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure systems would help demonstrate rapid market penetration and determine what best practices would be helpful for nationwide deployment of electric vehicles.
The overarching goal of the Senate bill is to electrify half of US cars and trucks by 2030.
Republicans and Democrats agree that electrifying our cars and trucks is the single best way to reduce our dependence on oil. Our goal should be to electrify half our cars and trucks within 20 years, which would reduce our dependence on petroleum products by about a third, from about 20 million to about 13 million barrels a day. According to a Brookings Institution study, we could do this without building one new power plant, if we plugged our cars in at night when the country has huge amounts of unused electricity.
Highlights of the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act introduced in the House include:
The Secretary of Energy will competitively award $800 million to 5 different deployment communities around the country, with the objective of deploying 700,000 electric vehicles in those communities within six years.
At least $2,000 in additional consumer incentives for the first 100,000 consumers purchasing electric vehicles in these communities would be provided.
All Americans would continue to be eligible for the electric vehicle tax credit, which reduces the prices of an electric vehicle by up to $7500, and additionally, tax credits of the costs of purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment for individuals (up to $2000) or businesses (up to $50,000 for multiple equipment purchases) would be extended.
Additional research, development, deployment and manufacturing incentives are provided for technologies that enable the widespread deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
It is important for the US to move ahead in this area of city deployments. A strategic electrification race is underway between regions including the US, China and Europe. Other countries have realized the importance of establishing large scale city projects and deployments. For example, China has 13 electric vehicle cities and Germany has eight key electric vehicle regions. The US must take action or risk losing competitive ground in the rapidly growing electrification market.
—Oliver Hazimeh, Director and head of the global e-Mobility practice at worldwide management consulting firm PRTM