EC Praises House and Senate Electrification Legislation

May 27, 2010, 16:34 ET from Electrification Coalition

Bipartisan Bills Offer Crucial Pathway to Reducing American Oil Dependence

WASHINGTON, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Electrification Coalition (EC) today praised the unveiling of bipartisan legislation in both the House and the Senate designed to advance the widescale deployment of electric vehicles and to develop the infrastructure needed to support them.  The bills each propose a path forward in which geographic areas would compete to be selected as electrification "deployment communities": specific geographic areas in which a wide array of financial incentives are employed so that all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed simultaneously.  

The House legislation, entitled the "Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010" is being cosponsored by House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA). The Senate bill, entitled the "Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010" is being introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

"We are tremendously excited to see Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate coming together on legislation that will strike at the heart of our dangerous dependence on oil,"  Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of the EC, said.  "The reality is this: oil dependence threatens our economy, our national security, and our environment, and until we fundamentally transform our petroleum-based transportation system, that will never change.  The framework put forward today—targeted investment designed to drive electric vehicles and infrastructure in select communities—represents a major change of course to a safer, stronger nation."

"The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will lead to a surge in job creation, help consumers, recharge our economy and greatly enhance our national and environmental security," said Markey.  "We import most of the oil we use, much of it from countries that seek to do us harm.  The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is yet another reminder that it's time for America to start driving toward a clean energy future, and electric vehicles can help power the way."

"With all of the innovative technological advancements to come out of our country, it is unbelievable to me that we still depend almost entirely on petroleum and the internal combustion engine to power our vehicles. It's long past time to bring American transportation into the 21st century," Dorgan said. "This legislation takes a strong step forward in encouraging the use, deployment and development of electric vehicles. Transitioning to electric cars is a sensible way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help address climate concerns, while relying on the diverse domestic resources that we use to generate electricity to power our cars."

"From plug-in hybrids to all-electric cars, the auto industry is moving quickly to meet consumer demand for more efficient vehicles that cost less to fuel up," said Biggert, a senior member of the House Science and Technology Committee.  "Thanks to these innovations, America is making great strides toward reducing emissions and cutting our dependence on expensive foreign oil.  But our electric and transportation infrastructure must keep pace with technology.  The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act will accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles and put emerging energy technologies within reach of more consumers and motorists.  It also will help regional communities establish themselves as models for the development and installation of the next generation of transportation infrastructure, including public charging stations.  I look forward to working with my colleague, Chairman Markey, to advance this legislation and help put America's transportation system on the fast track to electrification."

"This is a critical time to work with my colleagues to author the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act, bipartisan legislation that will help advance the widespread use of electric vehicles," McNerney said.  "There's great potential for economic growth and job creation in this field and, right now with such high unemployment, it's more important than ever to lay the groundwork for these new opportunities.  I look forward to our continued efforts to advance this legislation."  

"Our nation has been developing electric vehicles since the days of Thomas Edison," Eshoo said. "Sadly, he gave up on his dream, but Ed Markey and I have not given up on ours.  The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act builds on the work we did in the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, which includes electric vehicle provisions, and it contains my bill H.R. 1742, to ensure that our nation develops the infrastructure necessary to ensure electric vehicles are a reality. The bill we are introducing today will make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from Menlo Park, New Jersey to Menlo Park, California, spurring innovation and job creation along the way."

The Electrification Coalition, a group of business leaders representing the entire value chain of an electrified transportation sector, released their Electrification Roadmap in November 2009. The plan called for the creation of localized concentrations of electrification, geographic areas in which all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed, thus providing a crucial first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.

"We have not seen a great deal of bipartisanship in Washington in recent years," Diamond added.  "The fact that Democrats and Republicans are rallying around electrification is a sign of its appeal.  Oil dependence is not a conservative or a liberal issue—it is a threat to our entire nation, and we are thankful that these leaders in the House and Senate have come together to face it head on."

SOURCE Electrification Coalition