On 7 March, the US President Barack Obama unveiled a new $1 billion (around €755 million) initiative ‘National Community Deployment Challenge’ to support the deployment of alternative-fuel vehicles.
Communities will be able to use the funds in support of plug-in electric, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell or any other advanced vehicle technology. The communities would then become “real-world laboratories,” the White House said, providing models for full-scale deployment of these advanced technologies. It is proposed that an additional $3.7 billion (around €2,8 billion) be made available in the FY2013 Budget for advanced vehicles tax credits.
The proposed plan include tax credits for advanced vehicles from the current $7,500 (around €5,667) to $10,000 (around €7,556) while also broadening the range of alternative-fuel vehicles eligible for the credit at the point-of-sale, thereby allowing customers to benefit from a lower vehicle cost at purchase rather than when they file their taxes. The cap on manufacturers eligible for the credit will also be eliminated. The level of the consumer incentive will be gradually decreased and ceased by the end of the decade.
The ‘National Community Deployment Challenge’ initiative will provide assistance to 10-15 communities to invest in necessary infrastructure, remove regulatory barriers, and create local incentives necessary to support deployment of a critical mass of advanced vehicles.The ‘EV Everywhere Challenge’ that will aim to improve electric car technologies and reduce their costs has been launched as one of the initiatives striving to make EVs more affordable for US consumers.
The ultimate goal of the challenge is to make electric-powered vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles for an average American family by 2022. Obama’s proposal for the 2013 Budget includes $650 million (around €491 million) for the Department of Energy (DoE) to support the EV Everywhere challenge by investments in breakthrough R&D for advanced batteries, electric drivetrain technologies, lightweight vehicle structures, and fast charging technology. DoE will engage with scientists, researchers, and businesses in research projects to bring the costs of electrically-powered vehicles down.