Economic Stimulus Bill: What’s In It For Alternative Fuel Cars?

Sometimes it makes sense to stall. I’ve been meaning to dig into the economic stimulus bill to find out exactly what it contains with regard to alternative fuel cars. As I attended to other matters, the answers appeared in my inbox, thanks to the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute (AFVI).

According to the AFVI, the Economic Recovery Act that was signed into law by the President yesterday includes:

  • $ 2 billion for research for electric vehicle batteries
  • $ 10 million for advanced technology vehicle manufacturing
  • $400 million for near-term deployment of electric drive vehicles
  • $300 million to reduce diesel emissions
  • $300 million for regional deployment of alternative fuel vehicles

The Diesel Technology Forum notes that the $300 million earmarked for heavy-duty diesel vehicle and equipment owners to retrofit their fleets represents a six fold increase from last year’s funding level of $49.2 million.

In the meantime, I couldn’t resist dropping another iReport off at CNN, regarding the topic of economic renewal through energy independence …

I’m optimistic that this bill is the first step in establishing a comprehensive and coherent energy policy in this country. 100% energy independence is America’s best bet for a long and lasting recovery. We need to fix what ails us, rather then haphazardly blast out a bunch of expensive band-aids with a shotgun.

While it’s cool that we’ll all be eligible for a sales tax rebate on purchase of a new car, the measure would have been even more effective if the House had seen fit to maintain the provision for the auto loan interest rebate.

Regardless of that, the auto sales tax rebate is a first step to helping pump revenues back into the States, into the automakers, and into the dealers at the local level.

As I’ve written on these pages, this is a great time to buy a fuel-efficient car. There are tax rebates for certain hybrids and clean diesels – on top of the sales tax rebate.

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