Electric vehicles: Another part of turning the corner on oil

Congress took the country a step closer today to making electric vehicles widespread in the U.S.

NWF’s Zoe Lipman welcomed the release today of the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act, sponsored by Senators Dorgan, Merkley and Alexander. She says it’s an important first step in developing a national program to greatly speed the deployment of electric vehicles.  Lipman-Zoe

For Zoe and many energy experts, rapidly increasing production and adoption of electric drive vehicles – such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles is critical to ending our dependence on oil.

“This should be a practical part of a new climate and energy policy that decisively turns the corner on our destructive dependence on oil and protects our communities and economy from the risks of climate change,” she writes.

Starting this November, and over the next two years, virtually every major automaker, domestic and foreign (including several new start ups), will start selling electric vehicles – small cars, family sedans, delivery vehicles, trucks – that fuel at the equivalent of under a dollar a gallon by plugging into the electric outlet in the garage. 

But to get these vehicles into every garage we need a national program that helps utilities, automakers, and communities plan, invest and continue to innovate to make adoption easy and ensure homes and businesses can capture all the benefits of a new kind of vehicle.  
Volt 09 Lipman

The Senators talked today about how increasing our use of electric vehicles addresses multiple concerns facing the US: oil savings, climate change and economic security. Rapidly adopting electric and other advanced vehicles means putting American energy dollars back to work building jobs at home, rather than enriching oil producers overseas. It means exporting advanced technology instead of withering under a trade deficit driven by oil imports.

Today we depend on petroleum for 95 percent of transportation fuel.  With action now, that debilitating strategic dependence can be fundamentally undermined.  At the same time we can provide consumers and businesses excellent vehicles and lower pollution.  And, by connecting vehicles with home and office energy systems, we create new clean energy business opportunities and new transportation and energy management benefits we don’t get from our cars and buildings today.

With oil still pouring into the gulf, and oil dollars still flowing out of our economy at the rate of $1 billion a day, it’s past time for new energy platform.  Electric vehicles are one more practical piece of turning the corner on oil.

Photos courtesy of Rachel Kramer/NWF and Volt photo courtesy of Zoe Lipman.