The U.S. Department of Energy may be using cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to get behind electric vehicle infrastructure programs like The EV Project, but a number of organizations representing auto manufacturers, electric utilities and the electric drive industry think it’s not enough; they’re calling on President Obama to establish a new National Electric Fuel Task Force to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure to accommodate them.
A letter from these organization was recently signed and delivered to the White House by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the Electric Drive Transportation Association and the Edison Electric Institute. The letter states that a new task force is needed to provide a forum for public and private sector coordination, address challenges for large-scale deployment of plug-in electric vehicles and develop consumer awareness and education efforts to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. They see this new task force as being led by the Department of Energy and including federal and state regulators, standards organizations, utilities, environmental groups, consumer groups and electric drive industry stakeholders.
The letter also called on the Obama administration to form an Interagency Electric Drive Working Group in order to help streamline federal programs, expenditures and regulations related to electric drive. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $2.4 billion in grants have been given to battery and charging infrastructure companies to speed up deployment and the growth of the U.S. electric drive industry; clearly, these organizations would like to see that kind of monetary investment in electric vehicles continue.
“The President has set a highly ambitious goal of bringing one million plug-in hybrid vehicles to our nation’s roadways by 2015,” said Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President and CEO Dave McCurdy, in a statement. “By taking these steps, the Administration can ensure that federal agencies set long-term, consistent policies that encourage electric drive vehicle and infrastructure deployment.”