U.S. President Barack Obama announced, on March 7th, the launch of a new program to support the development of electric vehicle technologies. This program, operated by the Energy Department, issues a “Grand Challenge” for automakers to help increase the number of electric vehicles on roads by developing, by the year 2022, “…a 5-passenger affordable American electric vehicle with a payback time of less than 5 years and sufficient range and fast-charging ability to enable average Americans everywhere to meet their daily transportation needs more conveniently and at lower cost.” The goal of this plan, according to energy Secretary Steven Chu, is to both lower the cost of electric vehicles as well as making technological advances which will ensure that EVs meet consumers’ needs.

Additionally, President Obama also announced the formation of a new $1 billion plan for promote the development of 10-15 model communities, to serve as real-world laboratories, in which authorities stimulate low-carbon and alternate-fuel vehicle adoption by: investing in infrastructure; removing regulatory barriers; and creating local incentives supporting mass-adoption.

Finally, the Obama administration also proposed expanding the eligibility and increasing the amount of current tax credits for electric vehicle purchase. The proposed $10,000 scalable tax credit, up from the current $7,500 credit, would be available at point-of-sale rather than being refunded with consumers’ taxes.

Source: White House Fact Sheet

Read more: DOE press release

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