Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

While the tighter CAFE standards will have a minimal effect on spurring the development of new technologies, other measures in the new federal energy law could stimulate more transformative, long-term change. Genevieve Cullen, vice president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, in Washington, DC, points to the law’s support for research on, and demonstration and manufacturing of, electric-vehicle technologies such as lithium batteries and advanced motors. The law authorizes, for example, $450 million in grants to companies and state and local governments to demonstrate the use of plug-in hybrid vehicles, and up to $25 billion for direct loans to support manufacturing. “Congress needs to now provide the money for these programs,” says Cullen, referring to the separate process in which funds are appropriated for each fiscal year.

A hoped-for $3,000-to-$5,000-per-vehicle tax credit for buyers of plug-in hybrids could have further stimulated demand for advanced vehicles but was struck from the bill at the last minute, along with a tax hike for oil producers that would have funded it. Therese Langer, transportation program director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a Washington-based think tank, says that thanks to the high cost of batteries, the tax credit would probably have only cut in half the incremental cost of a plug-in vehicle. “That’s really nice for someone who’s prepared to shell out thousands of bucks for a plug-in,” she says, “but it’s not going to cause plug-ins to make a dent in total vehicle sales.”

15 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Electric Drive Transportation Association

Tagged: Energy, fuel efficiency

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »