President Obama has been touting plug-in vehicles for a while now – beginning, in fact, with his campaign pledge to get a million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015 –but words and a bunch of federal spending aren't enough for some people. Recently, auto industry lobbyists called for more incentives for plug-in vehicles and, today, a number of business organizations are calling on the President to "establish a new National Electric Fuel Task Force to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure."

The groups – including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the Electric Drive Transportation Association and the Edison Electric Institute – delivered a letter to the White House today. The letter asks for a task force spearheaded by the Department of Energy that "would include federal and state regulators, standards organizations, utilities, environmental groups, consumer groups and electric drive industry stakeholders." EDTA President Brian Wynne said that the Obama Administration's support for plug-in vehicles has been good, but now it's time to step up the pace. Wynne said in a statement:
The task force will promote the coordination of state and local efforts to move U.S. transportation away from oil, resulting in a cleaner environment, a more secure nation and a more competitive economy.
You can read the letter in full in the gallery below.



[Source: Auto Alliance | Image: Official White House photo by Pete Souza]

PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENT OBAMA URGED TO CREATE TASK FORCE FOR PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES

-Business groups seek acceleration of electrification of transportation sector-

WASHINGTON-July 20, 2010-Organizations representing auto manufacturers, electric utilities and the electric drive industry today called on President Obama to establish a new National Electric Fuel Task Force to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure.

A letter was signed and delivered to the White House by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the Electric Drive Transportation Association and the Edison Electric Institute. The organizations said the task force is needed to provide a forum for public and private sector coordination, address challenges for large scale deployment of plug-in electric vehicles and develop consumer awareness and education efforts to accelerate the adoption of these vehicles in the U.S. Led by the Department of Energy, the task force would include federal and state regulators, standards organizations, utilities, environmental groups, consumer groups and electric drive industry stakeholders.

The organizations also called on the administration to form an Interagency Electric Drive Working Group to help streamline federal programs, expenditures and regulations related to electric drive. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $2.4 billion in grants have been given to battery and charging infrastructure companies to speed up deployment and the growth of the U.S. electric drive industry.

"The Administration's ongoing support has been critical for growth of the electric drive industry, and these recommended initiatives will provide the next stage of federal leadership," said EDTA President Brian Wynne. "The task force will promote the coordination of state and local efforts to move U.S. transportation away from oil, resulting in a cleaner environment, a more secure nation and a more competitive economy."

"The President has set a highly ambitious goal of bringing one million plug-in hybrid vehicles to our nation's roadways by 2015," said AAM President and CEO Dave McCurdy. "By taking these steps, the Administration can ensure that federal agencies set long-term, consistent policies that encourage electric drive vehicle and infrastructure deployment."

"The formation of a federal task force on electric transportation could not come at a more opportune time," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Along with their electric drive partners, electric utilities are very eager to help lead the rapid and broad-based integration of electric vehicles into the transportation mix. A new federal effort to provide leadership and harmonize existing efforts promises to significantly accelerate the trajectory of electric transportation at a time when our nation badly needs it."

"Aligning efforts between the public and private sector is the logical next step to bringing our nation closer to achieving widespread acceptance of electric drive technologies," said Mike Stanton, President and CEO of AIAM.

For more information on:

Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) visit www.electricdrive.org
Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers (AAM), visit www.autoalliance.org
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM), visit www.aiam.org
Edison Electric Institute (EEI), visit www.eei.org

About EDTA: The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) is the trade association representing battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure. EDTA conducts public policy advocacy, education, industry networking, and international conferences. EDTA's membership includes automotive and other equipment manufacturers, energy companies, technology developers, component suppliers, and government agencies. For more information about EDTA and its members, visit www.electricdrive.org.

About AAM: The Alliance is a trade association of eleven car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

About AIAM: – The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. (AIAM) is a trade association representing 15 international motor vehicle manufacturers who account for 40 percent of all passenger cars and light trucks sold annually in the United States. AIAM provides members with information, analysis and advocacy on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory issues impacting the auto sector. The Association is dedicated to the promotion of free trade and to policies that enhance motor vehicle safety and the protection of the environment. For more information, visit our website at www.aiam.org.

About EEI: The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Our members serve 95 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. We also have more than 65 International electric companies as Affiliate members, and more than 170 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate members
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