Health Care Reform More Important, Climate Bill and Support For EVs and Batteries May Have to Wait


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Coming this September, the Senate is expected take up discussion on the looming and unsure Climate Bill.  This bill will have a major impact on the automotive industry, but little is known about the specifics surrounding the bill.  Right now, the bill is loosely referred to as the Climate and Energy Bill.  Here's what is known about this bill and its affects on the automotive future right now.

Hearings regarding the bill are expected begin in September, but many politicians state that they will be tied up with discussions surrounding health care reform and may not be able to enter discussions regarding the climate bill.  The Senate hopes to have a finalized bill on the desk of the President by December and expects a decision to be made swiftly once it lands on his desk.  The Senate will need 60 votes to pass the bill and most every republican is against it as well as a few democrats.  The bill is expected to come out of the Senate as a watered down version of the House bill and both groups will have to make compromises to agree on a final bill.

In regards to cars and infrastructure, some basic information is known at this time.  The House version of the bill includes many incentives to buyers of green cars.  The incentives could effectively double some of the current available incentives.  Additionally, they want to increase federal loans going to companies to retool for advanced technology vehicles.

In regards to EV charging, the bill requires utilities companies to begin planning to provide the necessary infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles.  They will also be responsible for coming up with standard for car to charger connections.

The House would like to make up to $50 billion in funds available to car markers to drive the future of advanced technology vehicles.  The funds would significantly help many companies as they shift over to new technologies such as EVs, EREVs, and plug-in vehicles.

The Senate is expected to discuss the bill, and come up with a version they think is suitable.  The future of electric vehicles and the funding needed to drive many companies into the EV future are a part of this bill and need to be a part of this bill when it passes by the President.  Vital funds are needed to drive the EV future in the coming years and the decision lies in the hands of politicians.

Some sources believe the Senate, as a whole may forego discussions on the climate bill in its entirety, instead focusing only on health care reform.  This would delay the bill considerably and may prevent the December deadline set by the Senate to deliver the bill to the President.

Additional information will be available as discussions hopefully get underway in September.  Stay with us for updates.

Source:  Edmunds.com, Politico.com

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