U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, last week joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on the bipartisan Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011 -- a critical step forward in the effort to end America's dependence on foreign petroleum and to support the emerging electric car industry.
"Investing in alternative technologies in the transportation sector is an investment in our country's economic future," Senator Coons said. "This legislation will not only make our country more secure by helping to end our addiction to foreign oil, but it will also improve our economy by creating jobs. Delaware has a long history at the forefront of alternative energy and innovation, and this bill will help our state become the launching pad for the emerging electric vehicle sector."
Key elements of the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011 is the creation of the National Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Program, an assessment of fleets owned by the federal government, and innovative research and development for advanced batteries.
The National Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Program gives assistance toward providing electric cars to state, local, and tribal governments that want to create deployment programs for plug-in electric drive vehicles in their communities, as well as to synthesize and improve their efficiency.
A number of interests in Delaware have been actively working on vehicle electrification, grid integration and infrastructure projects. The state is uniquely poised to excel based on the range of state and local authorities, private sector companies, and university expertise that are hard at work on such promising alternative options.