Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., today teamed with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., to introduce a bill that would provide regulatory incentives for companies to produce alternative fuel vehicles and establish benefits for consumers who buy them.
"Increasing the number of alternative fuel vehicles on the roads helps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions," Levin said. "This bill will help boost production and sales of natural gas vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids by providing incentives to manufacturers and consumers."
To encourage the production of alternative fuel vehicles, the Levin-Inhofe bill would expand the types of vehicles that manufacturers can exempt from their annual bonus credit caps on fuel economy to include natural gas, hydrogen, fuels derived from biological materials, and electricity. Additionally, to boost sales of alternative fuel vehicles, the bill would also add "alternative fueled vehicles" to the definition of "low emission and energy-efficient vehicles" that states use to determine vehicles' eligibility to use high occupancy vehicle lanes. The bill also would require a federal study on financing options for natural gas fueling stations.