Renewed support for electric vehicles expected as Obama secures victory

Article by Anita Panait, on November 7, 2012

US President Barack Obama secured victory for another four-year term, which could mean a return to an agenda of support for electric vehicles. Obama’s second term could also mean an implementation of new rules on tailpipe emissions and auto safety that presidential appointees have been raring to release.

Mitt Romney, Obama’s Republican rival, conceded at 12:55 a.m. Eastern time. The recent election also saw Democrats retaining control of the Senate while Republicans keep their hold of the House.

Obama said in his victory speech that he hopes to have a meeting with Romney in the coming weeks to discuss ways to move the country forward. The auto industry played a vital role in Obama’s successful reelection campaign, as it became the focus of an $85 billion federal bailout that led to the revival of General Motors and Chrysler.

Obama has disclosed some details on his intentions for the auto industry during a second term, including plans for the 500 million GM shares that the government still owns.

For the next four years, Obama’s appointees are more likely to pursue the agenda suggested by the backlogs of funding and rules at federal agencies. Roland Hwang, director of the transportation program at environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council, expects the agenda of promoting electric cars and other cleaner technologies by the EPA and the Department of Energy to pick up again in Obama’s second term. Auto industry hotbeds Michigan and Ohio both voted for Obama.

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