Under President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal, $200 million will go to federal grants for up to 30 communities that advance electric vehicle use through fleet purchases, infrastructure investment and streamlined regulations. These new grants are in line with the U.S. administration’s goal to have 1 million advanced-technology vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015.
The grants will be given to communities that make competitive bids. According further to this proposal, the budget for r&d in batteries and energy storage will get a significant boost. At a news conference, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that this move will lessen its dependence on imported oil.
The proposal also raises spending for vehicle technologies by 88 percent to $588 million starting Oct. 1. The $267 million increase includes the $200 million for grants “to help communities across the country become early adopters of electric vehicles.
House Republicans have criticized the budget increase, which the administration intends to use for the promotion of electric vehicles. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said that he is “disappointed” with the efforts of the White House to “manipulate free enterprise -- whether on energy or health care or technology.”
He added that this budget supports policies that allow the federal government to determine the winners and losers, instead of allowing the people and competition to determine the most efficient, effective investment of resources. [via autonews - sub. required]