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Electric Car Bills in Congress Seen As Route to Oil Independence

Bipartisan bills introduced in both the House and Senate would electrify half of all U.S. cars and trucks by 2030

By Elizabeth McGowan

Jun 2, 2010

WASHINGTON—Seven Democratic and Republican legislators are proposing a prescription for the country's oil addiction—dangling federal subsidies to prod drivers from the pump to the plug.

And advocates think the bipartisan bills introduced in both the House and the Senate are indeed effective public policy to accelerate electric vehicle adoption nationwide.

Though there are minor variations between them, both pieces of legislation aim to electrify half of all cars and trucks by 2030. How to start? First, by stirring up bait that's a mix of grants, rebates and other incentives to lure communities into competing for a chance to incubate the plug-in technology that will put 700,000 electric vehicles on the road within six years.

"These two bills echo the core principles of the roadmap," Sam Ori, director of public policy for the told SolveClimate Tuesday evening. "I would say that we're extremely pleased with the content of the bills."

Last fall, the nonpartisan, not-for-profit coalition introduced a lengthy report titled "." Its long-term goal is to encourage Americans to reduce their petroleum dependence and carbon dioxide emissions by racking up three-quarters of their mileage in electric vehicles by 2040.

The report lays out a detailed plan for phasing in "Electrification Ecosystems" in a diverse cross-section of cities nationwide. Phase One, which includes six to eight cities, would combine consumer incentives and infrastructure subsidies into a "learn by doing" philosophy that puts 50,000 to 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in each of those cities by 2013 and expands that to 400,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles in each city by 2018.

Phase II would add 20 to 25 more cities, scale back on consumer incentives and emphasize proof of concept and economies of scale. Each of those cities would have 75,000 to 150,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2018.

Recommendations to achieve this tiered approach include creating the new position of assistant secretary for electric transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy, and establishing and modifying a series of tax credits and financial supports for consumers, manufacturers and utilities or power aggregators involved with plug-ins and their affiliated infrastructure.

Any bill that encourages electric vehicles helps the cause, Willett Kempton, a University of Delaware professor, told SolveClimate Wednesday. Kempton, who directs the , said he preferred not to comment on either bill's specifics until the full text of each is made available.

"We also need bills that specifically expand the technology of EVs, to encourage larger batteries, fast but inexpensive charging and vehicle-to-grid power," Kempton said.

Thus, he is encouraged by legislation Rep. Jose Serrano (D-New York) introduced last December to spur vehicle-to-grid technology that would allow plug-in owners to feed excess electricity from their parked cars back into the grid. Serrano's bill is called the (H.R. 4399).


What's In the Legislation?

Electrical Engineering

It can be said that the same electrical engineering can be applied to cars on their lighting from interior lighting to exterior lighting consisting of to Fog Lights. I believe electric cars will have more efficient lighting in terms of eco friendliness and less electrical generation.

Meaning in the future, electrical and hybrid cars will be more efficient compared to gas-cars.

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