Austin Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a one-year anniversary celebration of the National Plug-In Partners Campaign, which seeks to spur the development and deployment of plug-in hybrid technology in the nation’s transportation sector. The campaign, spearheaded by the City of Austin and its municipal electric utility Austin Energy, is helping to demonstrate that flexible-fuel plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) offer a promising opportunity to reduce dependence on foreign oil, decrease greenhouse gas and other transportation emissions, revitalize local economies, and lower fuel costs.
At this event, speakers discussed how National Plug-in Partners Campaign has united cities and counties, national policy organizations, businesses electric utilities, national security experts, and environmental groups in support of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Attendees also heard from Members of Congress on legislative efforts to promote plug-in hybrids.
In 2006, the National Plug-In Partners Campaign received tremendous response from state and local governments, businesses, utilities, as well as national security, environmental and public interest groups. More than 500 entities have joined the campaign including a number of the nation’s largest cities including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Memphis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. In addition, the campaign has now surpassed 8,000 fleet orders, helping to prove to automakers that if they build plug-in vehicles, Americans will buy them.
Less than one year after the launch of a nationwide grassroots campaign to promote the mass production of plug-in hybrid vehicles -- carmakers are responding. General Motors, Toyota and Nissan have all signaled their intentions to explore the production of plug-in hybrids. The President and Members of Congress also have signaled their strong support.
Several Senate and House bills in support of plug-in hybrids were introduced in the last Congress. The Alternative Energy Research and Development Act (H.R 6203), passed by the House in September 2006, includes $100 million for research and development and $50 million for a demonstration program for plug-ins. Other bills, including H.R 5965, H.R 5531, H.R 5331, H.R 4409, S. 4039, S. 3694, S.2829, and S. 2025, focused on demonstration projects, incentives for consumers, battery research, and tax incentives also were introduced in the 109th Congress.
To find out more about the National Plug-In Partner Campaign, please click here.