Saturday, December 20, 2008

Plug-In Technology Legislation in the News

It wasn't so long ago that the term PHEV was unknown. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's) simply did not exist and for the most part, they still don't! I recently posted information about the very first commercial PHEV, manufactured by BYD Auto in China, named the F3DM. It is fascinating to me how common and household this term has become and now, we are seeing the legislative bodies in the US recognizing the importance of PHEV's and the technology necessary to make them happen.

In Michigan, legislation has passed both houses allowing a 517.5 million dollar tax credit package for manufacturers of plug-in traction batteries. Michigan is extremely aggressive as it concerns the automotive industry and this bill proves that. From Green Car Congress:

"The Michigan Senate on Friday approved a package of up to $517.5 million in tax credits designed to encourage the manufacture of plug-in traction batteries in the state. The House had already approved the bill, HB 6611.

The package provides credits in four separate areas: assembly of battery packs with a minimum capacity of 4 kWh; engineering for pack integration into the vehicles; engineering for advanced battery technologies; and capital investment expenses for manufacturing facilities."

Refer to the link above to see a break down of the four separate ares.

Not to be outdone, especially in the speniding department, the US senate has proposed spending $1.63 billion for Plug-In technology and Infrastructure. Good thing the US is rich. Again, from Green Car Congress:

"A group of 12 US Senators, led by Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, is proposing $1.63 billion in federal grants through the US Department of Energy to ramp up production and drive down costs of hybrid and electric drive systems.

The package includes:

  • $1.0 billion in competitive grants to expand the US manufacturing base for advanced batteries and other essential components.

  • $295 million for R&D on new battery technology.

  • $90 million in grants for state and local business and governments to build the infrastructure and other resources such as rapid recharging stations to support plug-in and other technologies.

  • $95 million in grants for near-term truck and maritime port electrification, which saves energy and dramatically cuts dangerous pollution.

  • $150 million for research and development of smart grid technology that can save consumers money and help integrate plug-in vehicles while improving capacity and reliability of the nation’s aging electric system.

Bayh discussed his proposal in Indiana at a event gathering many of the state’s top automotive technology manufacturers, including Li-ion battery manufacturer Ener1. Ener1’s Indianapolis subsidiary EnerDel is the first company producing automotive lithium-ion batteries on a commercial scale in the US."

Both of these legislative initiatives are great news for citizens interested in living oil free now.

One of the biggest reasons for PHEV success is the California Cars Initiative, whose website can be found here.

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