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Thursday, 22 July 2010 23:23

U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Passes High-Tech Vehicle Legislation

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met July 21 for a markup of Senate Bill (S.B.) 3495, “The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010”; S.B. 2843, “The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009” and S.B. 679, “The Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 2009.” The committee did not finalize its work on S.B. 679 and will address this bill at a later committee meeting. Both S.B. 3495 and 2843 were reported out of the committee.

“The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010,” sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced last month, aims to reduce the United States’ dependency on foreign oil and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The main component of the bill is Title I, “The National Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Program,” which aims to:
-Reduce the use of petroleum by accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles in the United States.
-Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles in the United States.
-Facilitate the rapid deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles.
-Achieve significant market penetrations by plug-in electric-drive vehicles nationally.
-Establish models for the rapid deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles nationally, including models for the deployment of residential, private and publicly available charging infrastructure.
-Increase consumer knowledge and acceptance of plug-in electric-drive vehicles.
-Encourage the innovation and investment necessary to achieve mass-market deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles.
-Facilitate the integration of plug-in electric-drive vehicles into electricity distribution systems and the larger electric grid while maintaining grid system performance and reliability.
-Provide technical assistance to communities across the United States to prepare for plug-in electric-drive vehicles.
-Support workforce training across the United States relating to plug-in electric drive vehicles.

Introduced last year, S.B. 2843, “The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009,” sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., seeks to promote federal aid for developing and promoting new vehicle technologies. The main purposes of this legislation include:
-Developing and promoting the deployment of technologies and practices that:
A. Improve the fuel efficiency and emissions of all vehicles produced in the United States.
B. Reduce vehicle reliance on petroleum-based fuels.
-Supporting domestic research, development, demonstration, deployment, engineering and commercial application and domestic manufacturing of advanced vehicles, engines and components.
-Enabling vehicles to move larger volumes of goods and more passengers with less energy and emissions.
-Developing cost-effective advanced technologies for wide-scale utilization throughout the passenger, commercial, government and transit vehicle sectors.
-Allowing for greater consumer choice of domestic-made vehicle technologies and fuels.
-Shortening technology development and integration cycles in the domestic vehicle industry.
-Ensuring a proper balance and diversity of federal investment in domestic-made vehicle technologies.
-Promoting the integration of intelligent vehicle technologies with infrastructure-based information and communications systems and the electrical grid.
-Strengthening partnerships between federal and state governmental agencies and the private and academic sectors.

To view a complete summary of the legislation, along with the full text, visit the “Track Legislation” section of ASA’s legislative website, www.TakingTheHill.com.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry. ASA’s headquarters is in Bedford, Texas. ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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