Today U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2013 in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, respectively. The Michigan lawmakers' legislation would spur the development of new clean auto technologies, help drivers use less gas, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, support American auto manufacturers and create thousands of good paying middle-class jobs across our country, especially in Michigan.
Stabenow's and Peters' legislation reauthorizes and improves an initiative that helps automakers and parts suppliers conduct research and create innovations to build next-generation, highly fuel efficient cars and trucks, keeping American automakers globally competitive and on the leading edge of new vehicle technologies. The bill has the support of organizations such as the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), the Blue-Green Alliance, the UAW and Eaton Vehicle Group.
"Our automakers are surging back with new innovations and new technologies, and we need to keep that momentum going," said Senator Stabenow. "Ensuring that Michigan continues to lead the world in advanced vehicle development creates good-paying jobs, lowers costs at the pump and makes us less dependent on foreign oil. I am pleased to partner with Congressman Peters in introducing this legislation that will help boost our economy and help provide part of the long-term solution in the battle against rising gas prices."
"I'm proud to work with Senator Stabenow to introduce the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act because we must continue standing with American auto manufacturers to grow our economy," said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. "By forging a stronger public-private partnership to research and develop new 21st century auto technologies in our communities, we'll ensure that the innovations of tomorrow are built by the hardworking men and women of the American auto industry. We'll never stop fighting to strengthen our middle-class and ensure that Detroit is always known as the Motor City."
"MEMA applauds Sen. Stabenow and Rep. Peters on the introduction of the Advanced Vehicle Technology bill," said Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO. "This legislation will help motor vehicle parts manufacturers develop the components and systems that will be necessary for future cutting edge vehicles. MEMA will continue to work with Rep. Peters and Sen. Stabenow to move this legislation and have it signed into law."
"Car buyers have been flocking to U.S. made high-efficiency and hybrid cars in recent years, fueling the resurgence of the American auto industry," said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. "We fully support Rep. Peters and Sen. Stabenow's Advanced Vehicles Technology Act, which will invest in critical research and development for these cars of the future. Building advanced and electric vehicles is a proven job creator, and other successful programs like the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program have created tens of thousands of American jobs in recent years, strengthened the manufacturing sector and made us more globally competitive. We cannot afford to cede the growing market for advanced and cleaner vehicles - and the jobs that come with it - to other countries."
"The Advanced Vehicles Technology Act will provide critical resources to develop cutting edge technologies that will improve the competitiveness of America's automobile and truck sector and enable us to support and grow manufacturing employment in the United States" said UAW President Bob King. "We commend Representative Peters and Senator Stabenow for championing this legislation and it has our full support."
"We applaud the efforts of Congressman Peters and Senator Stabenow to promote private and public partnerships to create a new generation of fuel efficient and clean vehicles," said Thomas Stover, Chief Technology Officer of Eaton Vehicle Group, a MEMA organization that has about 400 employees in Southfield. "The proposed legislation encourages the development and commercialization of technologies that can provide significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions compared to traditional vehicles."
SUMMARY OF THE ADVANCED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY ACT
* The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act reauthorizes the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program, through which the Department of Energy partners with light duty automobile, and medium and heavy duty commercial truck manufacturers and suppliers to conduct research that will help us develop the next generation of fuel efficient cars and trucks.
* The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act will improve the fuel efficiency of the U.S. fleet; reduce our dependence on imported oil; support domestic research and development, demonstration, commercialization, and manufacturing of advanced vehicle technologies; and allow for greater consumer choice of technologies and fuels.
* The bill directs the Department of Energy to partner with public and private sector entities to conduct research programs on a wide range of passenger vehicle and medium and heavy duty commercial vehicle technologies. In particular, the Department of Energy is directed to continue its existing investment into multiple transformational technologies, such as hydrogen and batteries. However, the bill gives the Department of Energy the resources necessary to also expand its focus into near term developments that collectively could result in significant fuel savings for the national fleet if widely deployed.
* The bill places a significant new focus on the research and development programs for medium and heavy duty trucks, and directs the Department of Energy to appoint a full time Director to coordinate existing efforts between government and industry partners.
* In the 111th Congress, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan 312-114 vote, and passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with broad bipartisan support. The bill was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the United Auto Workers, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, ArvinMeritor, Bosch, Caterpillar, Magna, the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, the Defenders of Wildlife, and others.