A United States Senate bill that would provide a further $3.6 billion in funding for plug-in vehicles has made it past the first of many hurdles toward passage. The Senate Energy Committee approved the legislation, put forward by Senator Byron Dorgan, (D-ND) that would create so-called deployment communities around the country and subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and the installation of infrastructure.

By focusing on specific areas for deployment of EVs and charging stations, the bill would take care of the well-known chicken/egg issue of which is needed first, EV chargers or the vehicles that need them. It would also allow for the evaluation of what happens when you have large numbers of EVs in a concentrated area. Of course, there are already regions around the country that are planning for large numbers of EVs – like southern California and New York – and it's not clear if the bill would support these regions or move to get other areas plug-in ready.

There is no guarantee that the Dorgan bill will be passed by the full Senate or even the House of Representatives, but it is one more step on the way to setting the stage for electric vehicles. Dorgan rather enthusiastically hopes that the results of the legislation will ultimately lead to half of the U.S. vehicle fleet being electrified by 2030.

[Source: Detroit News]