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Obama continues to press for more fuel-efficient vehicles with new budget proposal

Despite the fact that consumers are not adopting electric vehicles and hybrids in force, the Obama administration continues to push ahead encouraging new vehicle research and broader availability for electric vehicles and hybrids. The federal government has handed out loans to help spur research and development to bring more fuel-efficient vehicles and other green technologies to market, and those loans have backfired on several occasions.

While Tesla Motors by all accounts seems to be thriving, producing upwards of 500 cars/week, some of its competitors haven’t been so lucky. Fisker was one of the recipients of a large government-backed loan and the company is expected to file bankruptcy soon.
President Obama has sent his 2014 budget proposal to Congress this week and while many programs and services are seeing their budgets cut, Obama is calling for a massive boost in money available for vehicle research. President Obama wants to increase the Energy Departments vehicle research budget by 75% to $575 million.

Tesla Model S assembly line [Image Source: Tesla Motors via Flickr]

Obama also wants to create a $2 billion trust fund to research ways to wean the country off foreign oil over the next 10 years.

"We'll continue our march toward energy independence," said Obama.

Obama is also calling for provisions in his budget to help jumpstart sagging electric vehicle sales. The president wants to increase the tax credit for electric vehicle purchases from $7,500 today to $10,000. With the current tax credit, the electric vehicle buyer takes the tax incentive as a discount on their yearly taxes. Obama's new plan would allow consumers to take the discount at the point of sale as a rebate.

The budget also wants to accelerate research and development for emerging battery technologies and new manufacturing processes to allow the automotive industry to produce cheaper electric vehicles with better range and faster charging capability.

Source: Detroit News

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By BRB29 on 4/11/2013 11:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
Because our economy is still dependent on oil for probably another 50 years at least. We're already drilling more but we don't want to use everything up in the next 20 years. It doesn't make any sense to wean off foreign oil now and then use up all of our oil before we find a suitable substitute.

The DOI controls when, where, how much and how drilling will occur. The EPA and a few other agencies does research on impacts of different oil productions on the environment and the economy.

The President is just continuing what Bush has started to push for alternative less polluting energy. He did not stop or limit drilling.

Even if we can find a substitute today, it will take decades to convert our entire country.

By Ringold on 4/11/2013 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
Because our economy is still dependent on oil for probably another 50 years at least. We're already drilling more but we don't want to use everything up in the next 20 years.

False choice. The equipment, technology and financial and human capital necessary to fully explore and then deplete our reserves of oil in just 20 years doesn't exist. And financially, it couldn't exist, as that would push prices too high.

50 years, now that could, possibly, be done with huge effort.

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