Dearborn Press & Guide: Vehicle Innovation Act passes Senate, awaits approval in House

Vehicle Innovation Act passes Senate, awaits approval in House

Legislation to promote investment in the future of the automotive industry is more than halfway to becoming law after passage in the Senate for the Vehicle Information Act.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) appeared at a commercial vehicle outfitting plant in Taylor last year to announce the legislation that promotes investments in research and development of fuel-efficient technologies.

That legislation passed the Senate last month as part of a broader bipartisan energy bill.

“The cars and trucks of the future will be equipped with technology making them safer and more fuel efficient, and we must ensure that the United States leads the way in developing these innovations,” Peters said. “These emerging technologies will not only help lower fuel costs for businesses and consumers, their development will help create jobs in Michigan and across the country.

“I’m pleased the Senate passed this legislation that will make critical investments in our manufacturing industry, and I urge the House to swiftly approve it so that our auto manufacturers and suppliers can continue developing the next big thing in advanced vehicle technology.”

The act reauthorizes and modernizes the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program according to a release from the Peters office, which works with light duty automobile and medium and heavy-duty commercial truck manufacturers and suppliers to conduct research and development to improve fuel efficiency in vehicles. Examples of these technologies include mild hybrid, engine down speeding, power pack modeling and testing, advanced boosting systems, hydrogen and natural gas refueling and electric vehicle charging technology. The legislation also encourages the development and use of vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems that have the potential to improve fuel efficiency and reduce traffic accidents and congestion.

In addition, the bill includes provisions to encourage the development of technologies that could reduce traffic accidents and congestion 

“American auto manufacturers rely on emerging technologies and innovations to continue to grow and compete in the global economy, and we must make critical investments to develop and build those technologies here at home,” Peters said.

In addition to trucking and equipment supplier organizations, a number of environmental groups back the legislation.

“The Auto Alliance commends Senate passage of this comprehensive, bipartisan energy bill that contains many important provisions, including the Vehicle Innovation Act, championed by Sens. Peters, Alexander and Stabenow,” said Jennifer Thomas, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “This provision will help speed the proliferation of advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles. Automakers and our suppliers remain focused on the introduction and deployment of these fuel-efficient vehicles as we strive to address our nation’s energy security and environmental concerns.  The Vehicle Innovation Act will aid these ongoing efforts and support the research and design of the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicle technologies.”

Source: Dearborn Press & Guide