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Peters, Stabenow, Dingell, Stevens & Alexander Reintroduce Vehicle Innovation Act

Bipartisan Bill Bolsters R&D for Fuel Efficient Vehicle Technologies

Washington, DC, April 9, 2019

 U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Haley Stevens (D-MI) today announced they are reintroducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation to promote 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. Dingell also led legislation in the House.

“Researchers, designers and scientists at companies across Michigan are working to ensure that the next generation of cars and trucks are safer and more efficient,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan bill will help ensure that American manufacturers lead this new era of auto innovation by encouraging the development of cutting-edge clean vehicle technologies that increase fuel mileage, save consumers money and create jobs.”

“Michigan’s auto workers are the best in the world,” said Senator Stabenow. “This bill will help our manufacturers innovate and develop new products, which will create jobs and give consumers more choice.”

“The auto industry started in Southeast Michigan, and we must work together to ensure we keep Michigan at the forefront of vehicle innovation,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “This legislation builds on the progress made by investing in successful research programs that will help improve vehicle efficiency – saving consumers money at the pump, improving energy security and keeping us on the cutting-edge of fuel efficiency technology. I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will support jobs and ensure the cars and trucks of the future continue to be built in Michigan.”

“As we rapidly approach the next generation of mobility, Michigan and the United States must continue to lead the way in developing new technologies to make our vehicles safer, smarter, and more efficient,” said Congresswoman Stevens. “We are at a crucial point in which we can usher in new technologies to save lives. I am proud to cosponsor the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act, which will encourage important investments in research and development and create jobs for Michigan’s manufacturing economy.”

“Tennessee’s auto industry supports 88 of our 95 counties and more than one-third of our state’s manufacturing jobs are auto-related. Investment in new vehicle technologies will continue to give consumers more options and attract good-paying jobs,” said Senator Alexander. “I am glad to see the Department of Energy continuing its research to make cars and trucks more fuel efficient, to improve electric vehicles and batteries and to develop alternative fuels.”

The legislation is supported by Natural Resources Defense Council, BlueGreen Alliance as well as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and the UAW.

“We commend Senators Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow, and Lamar Alexander – as well as Representatives Debbie Dingell and Haley Stevens for reintroducing the Vehicle Innovation Act,” said Dave Schwietert, Interim President & CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “This bipartisan legislation will support the critical research and development of transformative clean vehicle technologies to enhance vehicle fuel efficiency and will help ensure U.S. based automakers remain leaders in the global race to develop and deploy these cutting-edge vehicle technologies.  Most importantly, the Vehicle Innovation Act will benefit our customers, who want cleaner, affordable, more energy-efficient vehicles and the 10 million Americans who depend on the auto sector for their paychecks.”

“With the help of strong federal and state standards, automakers have shown that they can innovate and deliver vehicles that are safer, cleaner and more efficient,” said Luke Tonachel, Director for Clean Vehicles and Fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “An acceleration in federal research will deliver even greater fuel savings, helping our climate, the air we breathe and the pocketbooks of drivers.”

“We all want consumers to have access to new technologies that allow cars and trucks to be more fuel efficient and produce lower emissions. The Vehicle Innovation Act makes that possible,” said Bill Long, President and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association. “This legislation brings together the best of public-private partnerships with support for domestic research and manufacturing activities to achieve that goal. We applaud Representatives Dingell and Peters for advancing the Vehicle Innovation Act and working to make these important emerging technologies more readily available to consumers.”

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are working today to build the materials and components that make today’s cars, trucks, and SUVs the cleanest and most efficient in history,” said Zoe Lipman, Director, Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program for the BlueGreen Alliance. "To continue to grow and maintain jobs like these, the United States must remain a leader in the development and production of innovative vehicle technologies. We are grateful for Congresswoman Dingell’s and Senator Peters’ efforts to ensure we build the vehicles of the future here in the United States.”

Examples of potential fuel-saving technologies include vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communications, mild hybrid, engine down speeding, power pack modeling and testing, advanced boosting systems, new vehicle sensing and communication, hydrogen and natural gas refueling and electric vehicle charging technology.

The legislation also authorizes critical resources for the Vehicle Technologies Office to encourage research 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.

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