With many Delawareans concerned about the rapid rise in gas prices, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) today applauded President Obama's announcement of a strategy for helping consumers and businesses purchase advanced electric cars and trucks. The plan mirrors legislation Senator Coons cosponsored last year, the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011, which would help state, local, and tribal governments create deployment programs for plug-in electric drive vehicles in their communities.
"Rising gas prices can have a huge impact on Delaware families struggling to make ends meet, so we have to find solutions that reduce our dependence on the volatile global oil market and focus on clean, affordable alternative energy solutions," Senator Coons said. "Expanding the tax credit for advanced vehicles, to help families and businesses invest in electric vehicles is a step in the right direction for American manufacturing and our energy future."
Speaking in North Carolina today, President Obama announced a series of moves to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles, including:
* Launching a "Race to the Top" challenge for communities to encourage advanced vehicle adoption
* Expanding current tax credits for electric vehicles to make them more affordable
* Creating a new tax incentive to accelerate the deployment of alternative-fuel trucks
* Launching "EV Everywhere', a clean energy grand challenge to make electric-powered vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles for the average American family within a decade
The plan mirrors S. 948, the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011, which was introduced last June to reduce dependence on foreign oil, support cleaner air, and lower transportation costs for Americans. The legislation was multi-faceted, including:
* Creating a competitive grant program for communities to support local deployment and infrastructure
* Providing technical assistance to state and local governments seeking to deploy plug-in electric vehicle fleets
* Making it easier for federal agencies to purchase electric vehicles for fleet use
* Creating a competitive grant program for private companies that maintain large vehicle fleets to upgrade their fleets to electric vehicles
* Supporting breakthrough battery research to make electric vehicle batteries more affordable and last longer
"Investing in alternative technologies in the transportation sector is an investment in our country's economic future," Senator Coons said. "The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act 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."
Two-thirds of all oil is burned in vehicles, so the rapid deployment of electric vehicles would have a major impact on America's energy security. Electrifying half our cars and trucks within 20 years would reduce our dependence on oil by about a third, from about 20 million to about 13 million barrels a day.