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President Obama announces $1B National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of alternative-fuel vehicles; new purchasing incentives; new EV Everywhere research grand challenge

US President Barack Obama announced a new $1-billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of advanced alternative fuel vehicles in communities around the country. The deployment Challenge is designed to catalyze up to 10 to 15 model communities to invest in the necessary infrastructure, remove the regulatory barriers, and create the local incentives to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass.

The President also announced a new research Clean Energy Grand Challenge—EV Everywhere—to make electric-powered vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles for the average American family within a decade. The President announced the initiatives during a visit to the Daimler Trucks North America Mount Holly Truck Manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina, as part of a talk about the need to take a sustained, all-of-the-above approach on energy, responsibly expanding domestic production of natural gas and oil, improving the efficiency of our cars and trucks, and making the long-term investments in alternatives to oil.

National Community Deployment Challenge. This proposal embraces a strategy similar to that outlined by Senators Merkley and Alexander in their Promoting Electric Vehicles legislation, the White House noted. The President’s proposal, however, is fuel-neutral, allowing communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit.

Deployment Communities would serve as real-world laboratories, leveraging limited federal resources to develop different models to deploy advanced vehicles at scale. The program would also support the development of up to 5 regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) corridors where alternative fuel trucks can transport goods without using a drop of oil.

Tax credits. The President also proposes to improve the current tax credit for electric vehicles by:

  • Expanding eligibility for the credit to a broader range of advanced vehicle technologies;

  • Increasing the amount from $7,500, making it scalable up to $10,000;

  • Reforming the credit to make it available at the point-of-sale by making it transferable to the dealer or financier, allowing consumers to benefit when they purchase a vehicle rather than when they file their taxes; and

  • Removing the cap on the number of vehicles per manufacturer eligible for the credit and, instead, ramping down and eventually eliminating the credit at the end of the decade.

The President is also proposing a new tax incentive for commercial trucks that provides a credit for 50% of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck, including trucks powered by natural gas or electricity, for a five-year period.

This incentive—paired with support through programs such as the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Clean Fleets Partnership which provides technical assistance to large company fleets interested in moving toward vehicles that rely on little or no oil—will not only drive down domestic demand for oil, but also drive up demand for advanced alternative vehicles.

EV Everywhere. EV Everywhere is the second in a series of Clean Energy Grand Challenges designed by the DOE. EV Everywhere is intended to enable companies in the US to produce electric vehicles at lower cost, with an improved vehicle range and an increased fast-charging ability.

The President’s FY13 Budget includes $650 million to advance vehicle and battery technologies at the Energy Department, including investments that support this new grand challenge. EV Everywhere will invest in breakthrough R&D for advanced batteries, electric drivetrain technologies, lightweight vehicle structures, and fast charging technology.


Dave R

Good stuff. Ramping down the credit over time and/or volume of sales rather than cutting it off after a certain number of sales is the right thing to do.

The same technique should be applied to the 30% tax credit used for PV installations as well.


Good move. Coupled with a progressive increase in fossil liquid fuel taxes, it could reduce crude oil imports over 5 to 10 years while creating local jobs.


Can I be the first to predict that the price of EVs will increase by $2500 as soon as the subsidy goes to $10K?


The President’s proposal, however, is fuel-neutral, allowing communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit.

Good idea.


Whatever Obama says you know the repubs are going to lie about it. And sorry Harvey, it doesn't look like increases in fossil liquid fuel taxes are in the cards;


I was just hoping but I agree with you that the majority is not ready for higher fossil fuel taxes nor higher income taxes for the 1% to 3% with huge revenues. Upgrading many of the current 240 million ICEVs to burn NG or use electricity would be a win-win solution, less imported crude oil and more local jobs.

Bob Wallace

Dave R., a support based on percent of cost as is rooftop solar has built-in ramp down.

If a home owner in the US installs a 3kW system at today's average US price of $6.40/watt they are going to get $5,760 rebate.

When our prices eventually fall to what Germans were paying last summer, $3.40/watt, the subsidy falls to $3,060.

Sometime later, when we've got coal off our grids and have avoided the very big tax and health insurance premium costs associated with burning coal we can afford to scale it back further.

$3.40 vs. $6.40. What is wrong with our competitive market?



Solar is a lot cheaper.

In the Netherlands you can have a system installed by a well known, trustworthy company for € 2/W, including 19% VAT. US prices are usually stated excluding VAT, so that comes to around € 1.70/W ex. With current exchange rates you're looking at $ 2.25/W. DIY'ers that know how to find a good deal can do a lot cheaper.

The main difference between the US and Europe seems to be resgulation. Over here it is usually allowed to install a system without permission.


The USA has no VAT.  Installation of PV may require a building permit in many jurisdictions, but almost everything except the grid interconnection may be DIY.


Will this help to bring back manufacturing facilities to USA. Apple employs 15 times more people in Asia (700,000 @ $1.83/hour) than in USA (47,000 @ $60.00/hour).That is the way to arrive at a 35% profit margin.


The new $10K subsidy for alternative energy vehicles could be applied degressively, i.e. $10K the first year or two, going down by $1K or so for every year thereafter or to $0.0 by 2022-2023 or so.

The full cost of this program could be funded by a special progressive but adjustable fossil fuel tax on diesel, gasoline, NG and Coal.


They have applied incentives according to the number of units sold. When Prius reached a certain number, the incentive was reduced.


Very strong plan for community EV adoption. Once people start seeing cars charging in the mall lot - or on Main Street - they'll be better disposed.

This President has proven to be a friend of alternative energy and transport. Now, if the pubs would let him shut down gitmo...


“up to 10 to 15 model communities”? Whaaat? “10 to 15”? Is that all? - it must be a typo.

“the need to take a sustained, all-of-the-above approach”
He’s got McCain’s vote.

“create the local incentives to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass.”
WTF does that mean?

“Deployment Communities would serve as real-world laboratories,”
We don’t need laboratories. We don't need studies. We need cheaper batteries.

“EV Everywhere is intended to enable companies in the US to produce electric vehicles at lower cost, with an improved vehicle range and an increased fast-charging ability.” Yup, and the invasion of Iraq was intended to create a western style democracy.

This PAP is for consumption by the dimmest of wits - like Donald Trump wooing the birthers.


Great, what's another couple of Billion, when he's already added trillions to the national debt, and is proposing yet another trillion dollar deficit budget. But, hey since there's no economic downside to taxing the heck out of the fuel that our economy presently runs on, let's do that. And then we can model our solar power green energy pipe dream on the Spanish / Solyndra models. (Or we could just go dig a big hole and fill it with cash)


Take money from Peter.

Give it to Paul.

Get Paul's vote.

And the journalism majors call it generosity.

Oh; and ESabre, don't give them any ideas.


Start 2 wars and 3 tax breaks you can not afford like G.W.B., then add $6 trillion to the national debt with NO progress to show for it, with 100,000 dead, 50,000 wounded and $1 trillion wasted.


GWB is no longer the president.

However I do think this is two in a row.

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