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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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RE: strange
By Ammohunt on 4/11/2013 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah like electric Air Liners! and electric Semi Trucks! (Lorries for you Queens English folks) Viva La baterías!

RE: strange
By BRB29 on 4/11/2013 12:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
trucks and buses can easily run on electricity. It's already been done. Most metros run on electricity. There's plenty of hybrid buses around now. Trucks will get the hybrid treatment soon enough. Planes can still use fuel as it is very fuel efficient for the passengers it carries.

When battery technology advances enough, you will see buses and trucks going full EV. For right now, only hybrid is possible for the range needed.

Trains are also being looked into as the new future of travel. Warren Buffet didn't spend billions for nothing. We can make 300+ mph trains now. I prefer taking trains going from DC to NYC. Overall, the same amount of time and much more space. Hardly any wait also.

RE: strange
By Ammohunt on 4/11/2013 12:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
I like trains too but to run them at a net loss like most of Europe does is a non starter. Coupled with the lack of willingness of private industry(the only way to make it profitable) to invest the kind of capital it would take to build a viable commuter train infrastructure in this country.

RE: strange
By Manch on 4/12/2013 7:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Commuter trains are a no go, but freight trains have been on the rise. Private companies are reviving some of the smaller lines bc it's cheaper than trucking in some cases. NC has a couple lines that have been revived.

RE: strange
By Paj on 4/12/2013 8:53:26 AM , Rating: 3
Trains are the way to go. Germany and France run their (majority state owned) train networks at a huge profit. The French operator is so successful that its providing trains and consulting across the entire world, including the USA.

In Britain, where the trains are privatised, service is rated the worst and prices are the most expensive in all of Europe.

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