Reps. Biggert, Markey, McNerney, & Eshoo Introduce Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act

Source: US House of Representatives

U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) today joined Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-MA-7), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-11), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA-14) to introduce legislation designed to fast track the deployment of energy-saving electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid technologies.  The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will provide grants to help regional communities establish themselves as models for the successful development, installation, and deployment of advanced electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, including public charging stations.  The bill also offers consumer incentives for the purchase of EVs, promotes utility modernization to accommodate EV deployment, provides assistance for the installation of charging infrastructure, and encourages domestic production of EV components.

“In my home district, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are leading the charge on advanced vehicle battery technology, and their work is already paying dividends in terms of energy savings, American jobs, and U.S. competitiveness,” said Biggert, referring to a recent manufacturing agreement between Argonne, LG, and General Motors for the Chevy Volt.  “If we’re ever to break our addiction to expensive foreign oil, we’re going to have to give a jump start to sound alternatives.  Consumers want to enjoy a cheaper, gas-free commute, but they need to have confidence in their access to things like charging stations, and the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will put us on the fast track to electrification.  This legislation provides a cost-effective way to mobilize local, federal, and private resources, and keep the U.S. at the forefront of an industry that represents the future of transportation.”

“As America experiences the rise and fall of gas prices alongside the rise and fall of al Qaeda leadership and other Middle Eastern despots, it is time to tell the oil sheiks funding terror networks that America needs their oil as much as we need their sand,”said Markey, Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  “The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will help the nation get off foreign oil and move forward with a comprehensive strategy that helps consumers buy all-electric vehicles powered by wind farms in the northeast and midwest instead of oil from the Middle East.  It’s time for America to start driving toward a clean, safe energy future, and electric vehicles can help power the way.”

“I’m glad to work with my colleague on a bipartisan effort to help advance the widespread use of electric vehicles,” said McNerney, who serves alongside Biggert on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  “At a time of high unemployment, there’s great potential for job creation in this field and it’s critical that we lay the groundwork now for these new opportunities.  The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act is an important step in this process.  I look forward to our continued efforts on this issue.”

“With the price of gas rising daily, we have to break our dependence on costly and unreliable sources of oil, and find new ways to power our cars,” said Eshoo, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  “If electric vehicles are to be a realistic alternative, we need to establish the infrastructure and incentives to support the technology.  I’m proud to have introduced related legislation last year to promote the rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure and deployment. The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will help propel our country a new era, and I’m proud to support it.”

According to the bill’s sponsors, the legislation recognizes that major infrastructure challenges are complex, requiring flexibility and adaptation in different regions.  It authorizes the Secretary of Energy to competitively award up to $300 million to each of 10 different deployment communities around the country.  These communities will then serve as domestic hubs for EV manufacturing and deployment, as well as proving grounds for best practices.

The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act guarantees a consumer benefit of at least $2,000 (beyond existing tax credits or other federal and local incentives) for the first 50,000 EV consumers within each deployment community.  In addition, it extends to 2014 federal tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment for individuals (up to $2000) or businesses (up to $50,000 for multiple equipment purchases).   Finally, the bill authorizes additional development, deployment and manufacturing incentives for EV technologies, including bond authority and a limited number of smaller grants for municipalities not selected as deployment communities.

The bipartisan bill also is supported by a broad coalition of business leaders and national security experts dedicated to ending America’s reliance on foreign oil.

“Vehicle transportation is in transition, and we must engage the free market to help bring about this change to eliminate the dangers of oil dependency,” says Andy Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Enterprise Holdings and a member of the Electrification Coalition.  “Cars and trucks that power our dynamic, mobile economy do not need to be entirely dependent on petroleum today. Arguably, the timing for this legislation is ideal as we need the job creation it will bring, and businesses and consumers will embrace alternative transportation if the infrastructure is in place to support it.  Ultimately, we should – and can – control the fuel supply that drives our vehicles, our economy and our future.”