The other day, Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, said, "If they (the DOE) raise the appropriations from the $25 billion to the $50 billion, we qualify." At the time, we hadn't heard about any plans to increase funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. Of course, as we wrote when Cischke made those remarks, never say never.

Guess what? There's now talk that the DOE may go ahead and double its $25 billion investment in the ATVM program. It seems that new legislation was added to the already controversial (and already massive at a whopping 1,200 pages) climate change bill that's currently making the rounds in the House.

So far, Ford has been awarded $5.9 billion, Nissan has gotten $1.6 billion and Tesla has accepted $465 million, which leaves a total of $17 billion left in the original $25 billion. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is expected to award the remaining millions to a range of automakers large and small as well as auto suppliers. If the House votes in favor of the bill, which may or may not happen before the planned July 4th recess, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd | Photo: laura padgett CC 2.0]

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