Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

U.S. Government Prioritizes EVs in $50 Million Auto Industry Investment

Business
U.S. Government Prioritizes EVs in $50 Million Auto Industry Investment

The U.S. government applauds the efficiency and technological achievements of the auto industry so much that it has decided to invest millions in it.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced nearly $50 million to aid the research and development of new vehicle technologies, especially ones that provide more transportation options while protecting the environment.

The announcement didn't provide a breakdown of the funding, but electric vehicles (EV) were the first sector of the auto industry mentioned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE). Part of the new funding supports the  EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, an initiative the DOE launched in 2012 to make EVs cheaper and more convenient to drive than than their gas-consuming counterparts over the next decade.

“Today, the American auto industry is on the rise, experiencing the best period of growth in more than a decade," Moniz said. "The new research and development funding announced today will help support our domestic automakers’ continued growth and make sure that the next generation of advanced technology vehicles are built right here in America.”

Graphic credit: U.S. Department of Energy

According to the DOE, U.S. automakers, universities and national laboratories have collectively cut the manufacturing cost of advanced electric vehicle batteries by 50 percent over the last four years. The government believes the industry can build on that success with more funding. The main areas of focus to make cars more efficient and durable include lightweight materials, cost-effective batteries and electronics, advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and better fuels and lubricants.

Graphic credit: U.S. Department of Energy

EV sales in the U.S. jumped by 84 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to theElectric Drive Transportation Association. That increase represented 96,702 plug-in vehicle sales. Navigant Research estimates that annual EV sales in the U.S. will exceed 416,000 by 2022.

The DOE also released a progress report on the EV Everywhere program. Industry highlights in the report include:

  • After nearly 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold last year, the market is on track to exceed 200,000 sales milestone by spring 2014. That's nearly two years before hybrid electric vehicles reached this milestone since their introduction a decade ago.

  • The Kelley Blue Book "5-Year Cost to Own Awards" ranked the 2013 Chevrolet Volt as No. 6 on its list of vehicles that have the lowest total cost of ownership for five years after the purchase of a new car. Only compact and subcompact cars cost less over this same period.

  • The DOE is working to expand access to workplace charging stations through the Workplace Charging Challenge. In the first year of the challenge, more than 50 employers —including Facebook, Coca-Cola and Dell—have pledged to provide EV charging access to their workforce at more than 150 worksites.

Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.

Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.

"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.

She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.

"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.

She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.

This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.

"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Trending

A rare North Atlantic right whale is seen off Cape Cod Bay on April 14, 2019 near Provincetown, Massachusetts. Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sprinklers irrigate a field of onions near a Castilian village in Spain. According to a new study, the average farm size in the EU has almost doubled since the 1960s. miguelangelortega / Moment / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."

Read More Show Less
Members of the San Carlos Apache Nation protest to protect parts of Oak Flat from a copper mining company on July 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

In yet another attack on the environment before leaving office, the Trump administration is seeking to transfer ownership of San Carlos Apache holy ground in Oak Flat, Arizona, to a copper mining company.

Read More Show Less