Bills introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives this week aim to promotion fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and alternative fueled vehicles. Several provisions specifically target heavy-duty vehicles, including a section that would require EPA to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
Called the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005, both the House and Senate versions of the bill were introduced by bipartisan groups. Key provisions include:
- A requirement that EPA develop a testing and assessment program to determine the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles and what is technologically feasible to improve their fuel efficiency. Once the testing program is complete, the Secretary of Transportation would be required to establish heavy-duty fuel economy standards.
- A tire efficiency program for tires designed for use on passenger cars and light trucks
- Private fleet tax credits for companies that have fleets of 100 or more vehicles to encourage their purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles
- Targets for manufacturers to produce flexible fuel vehicles, alternative fueled vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, etc.
- A new R&D and deployment program for electric drive components, systems and vehicles, including battery research, electric drivetrain research and plug-in hybrid vehicles
- Tax credits for manufacturers and suppliers to help offset the cost of building, expanding or re-equipping manufacturing facilities to produce advanced technology vehicles or eligible components
A detailed section-by-section summary is available at lieberman.senate.gov.