From Green Right Now Reports
A U.S. Department of Energy report says President Obama’s goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, while ambitious, is also achievable based on steps already taken as part of the Recovery Act and additional policy initiatives that have been proposed. The report says positive factors include improvements to existing consumer tax credits, programs to help cities prepare for the growing demand for electric vehicles, and strong support for research and development to continue reducing the cost of electric vehicles.
One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015, an analysis of advances in electric vehicle deployment, details DOE investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, research and development, and demonstration projects nationwide that are laying the groundwork for achieving the President’s goal. These projects include support for nearly 50 manufacturing facilities and demonstration projects nationwide. The program is aimed at helping to reduce the costs of advanced batteries and electric vehicles and gathering real-world data for consumers and local communities that will inform future deployment efforts.
The analysis found that manufacturers are planning to produce about one million electric vehicles by 2015. While industry-wide manufacturing capacity is not likely to be the limiting factor in reaching the President’s goal, additional policy steps are needed to further drive innovation, reduce costs, and spur consumer demand, the report concluded.
The Obama Administration is proposing a three-part strategy that supports electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption through improvements to tax credits in current law, investments in research and development (R&D), and a new competitive program to encourage communities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure. This plan is intended to drive demand and position the United States as a global leader in manufacturing and deploying next-generation vehicle technologies. The strategy includes:
- Make electric vehicles more affordable with a rebate up to $7,500: The President is proposing to transform the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate that will be available to consumers immediately at the point of sale, instead of having to wait for tax returns to be filed.
- Advance innovative technologies through new R&D investments: Building on Recovery Act investments, the President’s FY2012 budget proposal will include enhanced R&D investments in electric drive, batteries, and energy storage technologies.
- Reward communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure through competitive grants: To provide an incentive for communities to invest in EV infrastructure and remove regulatory barriers, the President is proposing a new initiative that will provide grants to up to 30 communities that are prioritizing advanced technology vehicle deployment.