In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to green technologies by vowing to flood America's highways with plug-in cars and will ask Congress for new programs to support sales and development of electric vehicles.
With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, Obama said on Tuesday.
The President's Budget proposes to make the United States the world's leader in manufacturing and deploying next-generation vehicle technologies through three new initiatives, expanding funding for vehicle technologies by almost 90 percent to nearly $590 million and enhancing existing tax incentives; making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible for American consumers; advancing innovative vehicle and battery technologies through increased R&D, and rewarding communities for leadership in reducing regulatory barriers and developing comprehensive electric vehicle-friendly infrastructure.
Combined global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are expected to total 5.2 million units in 2020, or just 7.3 percent of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year, according to a recent report from automobile market research company J.D. Power & Associates.
Various other measures to encourage electric vehicles are by supporting advanced technology vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the U.S. through new consumer rebates, investments in R&D, and competitive programs to encourage communities that invest in advanced technology vehicle infrastructure, Obama said in his second union address.
The Obama administration has taken aggressive steps to reduce dependence on foreign oil, including strong fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, and significant investment in biofuels.
Recovery Act investments have already transformed the advanced vehicle industry in the U.S. ARRA included $2.4 billion for battery and electric drive component manufacturing, and for electric drive demonstration and infrastructure - investments that are already transforming the advanced vehicle batteries industry in the country. Besides, the Recovery Act investments have significantly increased U.S. manufacturing capability for advanced technology vehicle batteries. The investments will also help cut battery costs in half, and make the U.S. a global leader in advanced battery production. Upgrading the Federal Fleet, GSA is preparing an initial purchase of 100 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that are anticipated to be delivered in 2011 together with more than 40,000 alternative-fueled and fuel-efficient vehicles that will replace aging and less-efficient sedans, trucks, tankers, and wreckers for Federal agencies across the country. GSA's investments in cleaner vehicle technologies help to spur growth in the emerging domestic plug-in hybrid electric vehicle market.
The Department of Energy said it is investing $2.85 billion in electric vehicles of which $2 billion will go to help US carmakers produce advanced vehicle batteries and drive train components. Around $400 million will be invested to buy, test, and deploy different types of electric vehicles in the marketplace, and $300 million in cost-share projects under the Clean Cities program.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9% of auto sales in 2020 and 22% in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively).