Heavy Duty Trucking: House Bill Would Advance Clean Vehicle Technologies
A bill that would earmark funds for research and development of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies as well as create truck-specific programs within the Department of Energy (DOE) has been introduced in the House by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) as the Vehicle Innovation Act (VIA), H.R. 4106.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the legislation in the Senate earlier this year with cosponsors Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Their bill was passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as part of a larger package of energy legislation.
According to the Senate and House sponsors, VIA legislation will promote investments in research and development of clean vehicle technologies to create more fuel-efficient vehicles, reduce dependence on foreign oil and support American auto manufacturers and suppliers.
Rep. Dingell said the act would reauthorize the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program, which works with light-duty automobile and medium- and heavy-duty commercial truck manufacturers and suppliers to conduct research and development to improve fuel efficiency in vehicles.
She said examples of these technologies include mild hybrid, engine downspeeding, power pack modeling and testing, advanced boosting systems, new vehicle sensing and communication, hydrogen and natural gas refueling, and electric vehicle charging technology.
In addition, the bill includes provisions that would encourage the development and use of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications systems that have the potential to improve fuel efficiency and reduce traffic accidents and congestion.
“Our nation’s vehicle suppliers and manufacturers have made major advances in cutting-edge fuel efficiency technologies in the last decade, and we need to keep that progress going,” said Dingell. “The Vehicle Innovation Act will build on successful research programs that have resulted in large savings for consumers at the pump and keep the U.S. and Southeast Michigan in the lead in developing high-tech, energy efficient vehicles.”
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