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USA: We Need to Pave the Road for 21st Century Vehicles

Continued Investment Is Key to Cleaner Skies and Highways

The plug to charge the batteries is plugged in to a Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid on the first press day of the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2009.

By Daniel J. Weiss, Jackie Weidman | December 16, 2011

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Our story begins on December 7, when The Washington Post published a skeptical assessment of government investments in advanced, efficient vehicles and related technologies under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program and grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Post questioned whether and when taxpayers would see a return on their money, and it noted that some analysts “warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months.”

In this piece we will respond to The Post’s criticisms while clarifying why we need to maintain investments in this program to stay globally competitive in the thriving advanced vehicles industry and build a market for clean cars that reduces our dependence on costly oil imports. The Post piece also ignores the Obama administration’s recent rules to double car fuel economy standards between now and 2025, which will increase demand for advanced, efficient vehicles.

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