It's a big week for compressed natural gas vehicles, thanks to President Obama's announcement today that his administration wants to increase federal support for CNG automobiles by introducing a tax credit similar to the one in place for plug-in vehicles. Plug-in vehicles, too, could get a big boost – and a double-whammy at that – with the current tax credit exchanged for a point-of-sale rebate and an increase in the maximum value from $7,500 to $10,000. The President made the announcement today at a Daimler Trucks North America plant in North Carolina.

The White House is proposing spending $3.7 billion on the the tax credits and another $1 billion that would go directly to 10 or 15 communities through a "Race to the Top" challenge that
will allow the local governments "to invest in the necessary infrastructure, remove the regulatory barriers, and create the local incentives to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass." This challenge is "fuel neutral" and thus allows "communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit."

The White House also announced a new "EV Everywhere" plan, which it described as, "a clean energy grand challenge to make electric-powered vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles for the average American family within a decade." The White House says driving electric will save the average driver $100 a month, which will be much more valuable when the upfront cost of an EV drops and more people can afford one. To this end, EV Everywhere "will invest in breakthrough R&D for advanced batteries, electric drivetrain technologies, lightweight vehicle structures, and fast charging technology."

As the President said in North Carolina today:

Here is the truth. If we are going to control our energy future, then we've got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. We've got to develop every source of American energy – not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels. We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That's the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down. It's pretty straightforward. That's the only solution to this challenge.

The details of the plan are available below.
Show full PR text
Fact Sheet: All-of-the-Above Approach to American Energy

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 07, 2012

President Obama Announces $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles and expansion of advanced vehicle tax credit

During the State of the Union Address, the President laid out a blueprint for a new era of American energy – an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources that will be designed in America and produced by American workers. Today, the President will visit Daimler Trucks North America Mt. Holly Truck Manufacturing Plant in Mt. Holly, NC to deliver remarks on American energy. While at the Daimler Plant, the President will tour the assembly line, see several of the alternative fuel models built there, and discuss the importance of taking a sustained, all-of-the-above approach on energy, responsibly expanding domestic production of natural gas and oil, which is currently at an eight year high, improving the efficiency of our cars and trucks, and making the long-term investments in alternatives to oil to provide American families the choices we all deserve. This strategy is a win for the economy, a win for energy security, and a win for national security.

In Mt. Holly, the President will announce a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles in communities around the country. The President will also announce a set of incentives to help consumers and businesses purchase new, advanced cars and trucks, including increasing and expanding the current tax credit for advanced vehicles, from the $7,500 credit that currently exists up to $10,000, while allowing the credit to be applied to additional types of technologies, not currently covered. In addition, the President is announcing a new research challenge that invests in breakthrough technologies to make electric vehicles as affordable and convenient to own and operate as gasoline-powered vehicles by the end of the decade.

Today the President will also highlight Daimler's commitment to increasing fuel economy standards and manufacturing vehicles that will increase fuel economy and reduce oil consumption. Taken together, the Obama Administration's standards for cars and light-duty trucks span model years 2011 to 2025 and represent the first meaningful update in over three decades. Under this program, average fuel efficiency will reach a performance equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and will save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump overtime – or roughly $8,200 per vehicle and slash oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025. The Administration has also finalized the first-ever national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for heavy-duty trucks, vans, and buses spanning model years 2014-2018, which will reduce oil consumption by over 500 million barrels, and save truck owners and operators more than $50 billion in fuel costs.

Daimler Trucks North America is a partner in the Energy Department's SuperTruck initiative, which is focused on increasing the fuel efficiency of long haul trucks, or 18-wheelers, by 50 percent by 2015. While long-haul trucks represent only 4 percent of the on-road vehicles in America, they are responsible for almost 20 percent of the country's on-road fuel consumption, with this class of vehicle currently consuming more than 30 billion gallons of gasoline a year. To achieve this goal, companies like Daimler are developing and improving vehicle technologies in engine efficiency, aerodynamics, waste heat recovery, and hybridization, among other approaches. Through these types of improvements, the Energy Department estimates fuel economy increases could save long-haul truckers more than $15,000 per truck per year in fuel costs.

The President's New Initiatives to Support Advanced Vehicles

Launching a "Race to the Top" challenge for communities to encourage advanced vehicle adoption: The President is announcing a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to catalyze up to 10 to 15 model communities to invest in the necessary infrastructure, remove the regulatory barriers, and create the local incentives to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass. This proposal embraces a strategy similar to that outlined by Senators Merkley and Alexander in their Promoting Electric Vehicles legislation. This proposal, however, would be 'fuel neutral', allowing communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit. Deployment Communities would serve as real-world laboratories, leveraging limited federal resources to develop different models to deploy advanced vehicles at scale. The program would also support the development of up to 5 regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) corridors where alternative fuel trucks can transport goods without using a drop of oil.

Making advanced vehicles more affordable: The President proposes to improve the current tax credit for electric vehicles by
o Expanding eligibility for the credit to a broader range of advanced vehicle technologies;
o Increasing the amount from $7,500, making it scalable up to $10,000;
o Reforming the credit to make it available at the point-of-sale by making it transferable to the dealer or financier, allowing consumers to benefit when they purchase a vehicle rather than when they file their taxes; and
o Removing the cap on the number of vehicles per manufacturer eligible for the credit and, instead, ramping down and eventually eliminating the credit at the end of the decade.

Accelerating deployment of alternative-fuel trucks: The President is proposing a new tax incentive for commercial trucks that provides a credit for 50% of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck, including trucks powered by natural gas or electricity, for a five-year period. This incentive – paired with support through programs like the Energy Department's National Clean Fleets Partnership, which provides technical assistance to large company fleets interested in moving toward vehicles that rely on little or no oil – will not only drive down domestic demand for oil, but also drive up demand for the sorts of vehicles built at Freightliner's Mt. Holly Plant and, in turn, spur job creation in the American manufacturing sector.

Launching 'EV Everywhere', a clean energy grand challenge to make electric-powered vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles for the average American family within a decade: This national effort is the second in a series of Clean Energy Grand Challenges designed by the Department of Energy to bring together America's best and brightest scientists, engineers, and businesses to work together to solve the most pressing energy technology challenges of our time. EV Everywhere will enable companies in the U.S. to produce electric vehicles at lower cost, with an improved vehicle range and an increased fast-charging ability, so average American families will be able to own and drive an electric vehicle as affordable and convenient as today's gasoline-powered vehicles. The savings from using lower-cost electricity instead of gasoline, roughly $100 per month for the average driver, combined with the reduction of upfront vehicle cost, will lower energy costs for American consumers and businesses. The President's FY13 Budget includes $650 million to advance vehicle and battery technologies at the Energy Department, including investments that support this new grand challenge. EV Everywhere will invest in breakthrough R&D for advanced batteries, electric drivetrain technologies, lightweight vehicle structures, and fast charging technology.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 143 Comments
      PICKLEBOY
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ehh whats 4.6 Billion dollars, its just pocket change to Obama, I mean he's already spend just over 5 Trillion in 3 years whats 4.6 Billion more? am I right??? I'm sick of this crap where the government is pretty much trying to direct the industry in the way they want it to (Bribery). Stay out of industries thats called Capitalism, oh wait never mind, The government already owns all of the American car brands (except Ford because they can actually keep their own company running) I guess they can do what they want with their businesses!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      SlamSpam
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the FEDs want to push an EV Everywhere effort, why don't they fix 2 "problems" at once. Convert US Post Office locations (direct or via associated farms) to use solar / wind and EV delivery vehicles changed off the solar / wind installations associated with each post office location. It would help the USPS save some operations costs, it would be visible, and it would be nationwide. 90% of USPS vehicles are a perfect fit for the short range and over night charging limits of generic EV vehicles. If there is a true operating savings, then having switched over will help them cut costs if the FED is going to throw away capital investment paid for by taxpayers. And think of all the local / regional jobs this would create to build out the alternative energy infrastructure at each USPS location. And this would create a fleet demand for vehicles of simple transport needs.
        Mike Pulsifer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SlamSpam
        postal service vehicles in rural communities would exceed the EV range on a daily basis.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SlamSpam
        While I agree with what you're saying, this will require money that the USPS does not have. To add insult to injury, the republicans will not allow an increase to the USPS budget, removal of the $5b/yr pension burden, or increase of postage prices.
          SlamSpam
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Carlos Cruz
          The assumption is that the Feds (in this news item) are shifting revenue / income around to foster an agenda item. If they can do that for you, me, GM, Exxon, DieHard, etc., then they could do that for USPS. Difference is, the USPS need some help already from the FEDs (our taxes) to cover it's debit and the USPS use benefits everyone, not just the few. Same cost as the "EV everywhere" proposal, but better distribution of benefits and contributes to fixing another FED problem.
      Mike McDonald
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please, somebody has to get this monster out of office!
        billfrombuckhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike McDonald
        GM and Chrysler live while bin Ladin and the Republican party are dead.
        OptimusPrimeRib
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike McDonald
        Why?
          mawhalen53
          • 2 Years Ago
          @OptimusPrimeRib
          That monster! He's creating jobs, ending wars, and encouraging alternative energy!
          Phil Masteller
          • 2 Years Ago
          @OptimusPrimeRib
          So we can celebrate the triumphant return of the Hummer, duh!
        Big Rocket
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike McDonald
        @OptimusPrimeRib, mawhalen53, billfrombuckhead: "George W. Bush set the previous record of $3.4 trillion of deficits in eight years. President Obama is on track to add $5 trillion in deficits in just four years. This is part of the reason why our national debt is now a whopping $15 trillion. The Weekly Standard crunches the numbers to find that deficit spending just under President Obama equals more than $17,000 per person or about $70,000 for a family of four." http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/15/where-is-the-u-s-headed-if-pres-obama-is-adding-an-estimated-5-trillion-to-the-national-debt-in-his-first-term/
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          [blocked]
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          Some of the garbage you utter makes me wonder how stupid people can muster up enough brain power to breath.
          Big Rocket
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          @Nick & OptimusPrimeRib: The deregulations you speak of, specifically the Glass-Steagall Act, was under Bill Clinton. I am no fan of W Bush, but please get your facts straight before pointing your finger at the wrong President. And, unlike you, I don't buy into the fear mongering, the doomsday prediction made by the industry lobbyists: Bail us out with Billions in taxpayers' dollars, or America will burn to the ground. History tells us our country has always ceded low-tech manufacturing to 3rd world countries, while our companies retool for high-tech innovation at higher profit margins. If you think Obama and future Presidents could keep borrowing from the Chinese to compete with Chinese automakers one day, it's time to wake up. @caddy-v: Next time, try to come up with a coherent talking point. Calling the other side "garbage", "stupid", and so on doesn't require nearly as much brain power as you might have imagined.
          bjzq8
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          It's kinda like North Korea and Kim Jong Il/Un. People will support a complete maniac if they think they can "get ahead" of everyone else. That's what's happening here. People support Obama because they think that they can be the ones to ride the train to the shiny new apartment blocks, while those non-Obama supporters will be trucked to the gulags. They'll gladly support Obama, no matter what his insane central planning creates, just like the North Koreans line up to salute their dictator.
        lorenzo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike McDonald
        Mr Mike = Provocateur
      pontiacmuscle68
      • 2 Years Ago
      We are $15 trillion in debt and Obama thinks spending $4.7 billion to promote electric cars is a good idea???? What a nightmare.
      Afi Keita James
      • 2 Years Ago
      More of the same from this globalist filth. RON PAUL 2012.
      Jared East
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some one needs to tell the white house we're broke.
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jared East
        They don't care. It's not their money. Politicians are the ultimate welfare recipients.
      judgesmails
      • 2 Years Ago
      The president is right. Oil is just not a winning strategy for the US. We need to suck it up and be realistic about the future of transportation. I don't know how I'm going to learn to live without the sweet sound of my DOHC, direct-inject turbocharged IC engine, but even I admit (tearfully) that it's going to be necessary. Bring on the performance EVs.
        Big Squid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @judgesmails
        What about the Cadillac WTF concept? Why aren't we working on that?
      durrknievel
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is going to work how much better than Solyndra Fisker Ener1 Beacon Power Volt Inc.?
        eddyjoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @durrknievel
        because this time they aren't doing it for votes and special interests.. oh wait..
      Toneron
      • 2 Years Ago
      This guy has to to go!
      cashsixeight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Before anybody bitches just remember the Auto Bailouts for GM and Chrysler cost us $14 billion already. And those were BUSH's idea. So all you Anti-Obama people can suck it, at least this time we're throwing money at progress instead of retarded companies making stupid decisions for 20 years in a row.
        caddy-v
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        Conservatives like myself have condemned Bush for his spending and raising the debt. Obama ran on a promise to lower the debt, reduce spending and get the fiscal house in order. Instead, he tripled the debt, got spending completely out of control and in conjunction with the senate have not delivered a budget in some 1,080 some days. The stupid decisions continue only this time on steroids. And by the way, where in the Constitution does it say it's the governments job to throw money at anything?
        eddyjoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        see solyndra and fisker. obama ideas. stop finger pointing. fact is, they're both wrong.
        Big Squid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        How much was thrown at Solyndra before they snuck out and left us the check? Saying your intentions are good does not mean that the people in charge are competent or honest.
      caddy-v
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tell us how we're going to pay for it, Barry.
        judgesmails
        • 2 Years Ago
        @caddy-v
        By discontinuing subsidies for oil companies.
          eddyjoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @judgesmails
          i'll one-up you and say to discontinue all subsidies as well as get out of the economy altogether. the government, rep or democrat, has lost it's credibility in balancing a budget and managing the economy. we need to castigate them by limiting their power.
          judgesmails
          • 2 Years Ago
          @judgesmails
          Caddy-v - I'm sorry, but you have utterly and completely missed the point. We won't be using nearly as much gas if we develop alternative fuels - therefore gas prices can go to their actual free market values, without subsidies, and it won't affect people because they will be driving American made cars using American fuel sources. The oil companies can go F themselves for all I care.
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @judgesmails
          If you thing gas is expensive now, just watch as they discontinue the subsidies and the oil companies pass the cost of research and development on to us.
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @judgesmails
          if only the GOP would allow BP, Exxon etc to get off corporate welfare.
          HollywoodF1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @judgesmails
          Discontinuing exploration subsidies (it's not R&D $$) would cause the oil company profits would drop by three to seven percent, and pump prices would remain subject to the same supply-demand forces that set them today. In other words, they would continue to make record profits and be the richest companies in the world, and our pump prices would show no change.
    • Load More Comments
    Advertisement
    2014 Jeep Cherokee
    MSRP: $22,995 - $30,095
    2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    MSRP: $51,800 - $103,200
    2014 Chevrolet Cruze
    MSRP: $17,520 - $24,985