Menendez Reacts To New Funding For Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Projects

Menendez Reacts To New Funding For Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Projects

Sen. Menendez commends Department of Energy for investing in energy efficient technology, expresses concern that commercialization goal is as late at 2016

Washington -Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that they will award up to $30 million in funding over three years for three cost-shared Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) demonstration and development projects. PHEVs are generally hybrid vehicles that use electricity from the grid to power the vehicle and have a motor that runs on gasoline only to recharge the electric battery when needed. They are energy efficient, decrease the need for petroleum consumption by using electricity and ultimately are capable of traveling up to 40 miles without the use of any gasoline. The goal of the project is to make the PHEVs technology cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016. Sen. Menendez, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, commended the approach but warned that the Administration is lacking a sense of urgency to break our addiction to oil.

"I commend the federal government for investing in plug-in hybrid technology, for which I have advocated, but I am dismayed that their goal for commercializing the technology is still as late as 2016. After all, some plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are already on the road and GM and Toyota are reportedly going to introduce more in 2010," said Sen. Menendez. "The administration lacks a sense of urgency on this issue, and it is critical that we help this technology flourish now so that our reliance on oil to fuel our cars can finally end. It is also unfortunate that my Republican colleagues in the Senate blocked a bill earlier this week that would have provided a $3000 tax credit for the purchase of these plug-in vehicles. The Republican 'No' Machine has chosen to side with the oil companies instead of the public, but the American public knows that the future is in a green economy, alternative fuels and energy efficiency, not in oil."

For more information on DOE's ongoing work to advance vehicle technologies, visit the Vehicle Technologies Program website.