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USA: President Obama Pivots to “All Of The Above” Clean Vehicle Message

esterday, the White House proposed spending $1 billion to assist 15 communities in the deployment of advanced-technology vehicles. He announced that $3.7 billion would be set aside for tax credits for clean cars, and that the incentive for an electric car could increase from $7,500 to $10,000. But those numbers distract attention from a major shift in focus away from plug-in cars as the marquee solution, to a portfolio of technologies and fuels, including vehicles running on compressed natural gas. Obama’s announcements were made at the Daimler Trucks North America plant, near Charlotte, North Carolina, where CNG trucks are produced.

Conspicuously absent was any mention of President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015. Instead, the Obama Administration released the “EV-Everywhere Challenge,” pushing its electric goals to an amorphous 2022 achievement: Producing a five-passenger American electric vehicle with a payback time of less than 5 years and sufficient range and fast-charging ability to enable average Americans everywhere to meet their daily transportation needs more conveniently and at lower cost.”

Meanwhile, in the short term, Obama’s support would broaden beyond EVs. “To cities and towns all across the country, what we’re going to say is, if you make a commitment to buy more advanced vehicles for your community—whether they run on electricity or biofuels or natural gas—we’ll help you cut through the red tape and build fueling stations nearby,” President Obama said. “We’re going to give communities across the country more of an incentive to make the shift to more energy-efficient cars.”

Unlike previous proposals, the new plan would be “fuel neutral,” according to an official White House statement. It would allow “communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit.”


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