U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) reintrodued the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act to encourage investments in research and development of clean vehicle and advanced safety technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. In the 114th Congress, Senators Peters, Alexander and Stabenow introduced similar legislation, which was approved by the U.S. Senate as part of the Energy Policy Modernization Act.
“Michigan and the United States are leading the way in developing innovative technologies that will make the next generation of cars and trucks safer and more efficient than ever before,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan bill will help ensure that American manufacturers remain internationally competitive by encouraging the development of cutting-edge clean vehicle technologies that improve fuel efficiency, save consumers money and help support American jobs.”
The Vehicle Innovation Act strengthens and streamlines the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office, which promotes public-private partnerships to conduct technology-neutral research and development on a diverse range of new technologies to improve fuel efficiency in light, medium and heavy duty vehicles. In addition to furthering the technological development of alternative fuel vehicles, the bill would support natural gas refueling technology.
The legislation also authorizes critical resources for the Vehicle Technologies Office to encourage research, including $313.6 million in funding for the FY2018, and a four percent increase to each year after that through 2022, to ensure steady funding is available to help manufacturers keep pace with emerging advanced technologies that have the potential to reduce fuel costs in the national vehicle fleet.