Following recent announcements by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to spur clean energy job growth in Michigan, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that she authored to promote advanced vehicle technology innovation in the United States. Only one Republican objected to passage of the bill. The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act streamlines efforts at the Department of Energy to ensure manufacturers and suppliers in the United States lead the way in developing the next generation of advanced vehicles. The bill will spur more fuel-efficient vehicles to save consumers money at the pump, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, and create good-paying jobs in Michigan and across the country.
Earlier this year, Senator Stabenow and Congressman Gary Peters announced the introduction of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act at Robert Bosch LLC headquarters in Farmington Hills. They were joined at the announcement by sixteen automotive companies and suppliers that support the legislation.
"We need to build the new vehicles of the future here in America in order to create clean-energy jobs in Michigan and across the country," said Senator Stabenow. "The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act will help our manufacturers and suppliers research and develop technologies to make more fuel-efficient vehicles, reducing costs at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. I am pleased the Senate Energy Committee passed my legislation that will help boost our economy and provide part of the long-term solution in the battle against rising gas prices."
The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act will focus the Department of Energy's efforts to promote smart American-based advanced vehicle research and development. The bill will direct the Energy Department to help more small, medium, and large manufacturers and suppliers develop advanced technologies to improve the energy efficiency of vehicles. These efforts include hybrid and electrical systems; advanced batteries and energy storage devices; hydrogen and natural gas systems; refueling and recharging infrastructure; and other advanced vehicle technologies. It will also spur the development of more fuel-efficient medium and heavy duty commercial trucks such as hybrid semis.
Committee passage of Stabenow's legislation comes on the heels of her introduction of the Battery Innovation Act- the first-ever comprehensive plan offering Michigan companies the support they need to expand advanced battery production and job growth. It also follows an announcement from the Department of Energy Wednesday that Severstal North America, an advanced technology vehicle steel supplier will receive a loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing initiative Stabenow authored to revamp the old Rouge Plant in Dearborn. Once the old facility is transformed, the company will produce next generation steel that will make American cars more fuel-efficient and safer.
"All of these efforts are a piece of the broader goal of transforming our economy. We need to transition from the industry of the past to make Michigan the advanced technology capital of the world," said Senator Stabenow. "These new innovative initiatives will generate billions more in private sector economic activity and create thousands of additional jobs. We cannot afford to lose the race to build the clean energy technologies of the future to countries like China and South Korea."
The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act is supported by a wide range of supporters from small, medium, and large suppliers, manufacturers, environmental associations, and business organizations. It has been endorsed by the Electric Drive Train Association, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, Daimler, Magna International, Robert Bosch LLC, Hybrid Truck User Forum, Johnson Controls, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.