Auto Care Association

U.S. lawmakers want to reauthorize alternative fuel research

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. Gary Peter, D-Mich.-14, introduced companion legislation in their respective chambers to reauthorize a Department of Energy (DOE) program to fund research for more fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). Texts of the bills are not yet available to the public, but according to the Detroit Free Press, the “Advanced Vehicle Technology Act,” continues the DOE Vehicle Technologies Program that funds used by auto manufacturers for research and development of alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles.

It is reported that the bill will direct the DOE to create a director for the program to steer coordination between the agency and private companies, and emphasize a focus on medium and heavy duty truck research, AAIA noted. While the program is primarily directed at investments in new automotive fuel efficiency technologies, there will be a component to push emerging technologies to the market if they display significant fuel saving abilities.

The House version of the bill is H.R. 1027, but the Senate bill has not received a number at this time, according to AAIA.