Lawmakers Announce Clean Mobility Legislation During ‘Drive Electric Week’

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Drive Electric Week celebrates benefits, opportunities for electric vehicles, advanced mobility

LANSING, Mich.–– As events take place across the state for National Drive Electric Week, Representatives Bronna Kahle (R-Clinton) and Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills) today announced legislation that would help remove barriers for the sale, research and development of electric vehicles and other clean mobility technologies.

House Bill 6328, introduced by Rep. Kahle would create incentives for businesses that make investments into the research and development of electric vehicles and advanced mobility. This bill would help small and mid-sized companies invest in R&D for advanced mobility in Michigan.

“Michigan’s rich history as the auto capital of the world means we should be a leader in the future of transportation and vehicle production,” said Rep. Kahle. “My legislation keeps Michigan on the cutting edge of innovation and supports next-generation companies. It’s part of a plan promoting job creation, community revitalization and clean fuels – three positive goals that can be accomplished together with the right strategy.”

House Bill 6083, introduced by Rep. Webber would make electric and alternative fuel vehicles exempt from a portion of the sales tax, which would be calculated based on the vehicle’s weight.

“Electric and autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation in Michigan and across the country, and my legislation will remove barriers for Michiganders who want to take advantage of the growing advanced mobility trend,” said Rep. Webber. “Currently, consumers seeking to purchase an electric vehicle face many hurdles and additional fees that make owning an EV out of reach for many, and my legislation seeks to increase access to those consumers who wish to save money on gasoline and promote cleaner transportation.”

In May, Clean Fuels Michigan, an organization of businesses and organizations focused on growing a high-tech, clean transportation industry in Michigan released a report on the economic impact of the clean mobility industry in Michigan. The report found that the industry contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy each year, and supports more than 69,000 jobs.

“Clean transportation technologies will play an increasingly important role in Michigan’s auto industry, which is why it is important to have policies in place that position Michigan to lead in this rapidly changing industry,” said Mike Alaimo, executive director of Clean Fuels Michigan.  “There is massive potential for growth and further investment in the clean mobility industry, and I applaud Reps. Kahle and Webber for introducing legislation that would help Michigan seize on this potential.”

Clean Fuels Michigan, along with other industry partners such as Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities Coalition, the Michigan Agency for Energy and General Motors, participated in events for Drive Electric Week including an electric vehicle ride and drive.

“Vehicle electrification is a vital component of the automotive industry’s seismic transition towards advanced mobility technologies,” said Britta Gross, director of advanced vehicle technology and commercialization policy for General Motors. “Investing in this technology will support jobs and the environment, and help Michigan maintain its’ leadership as the automotive capital of the world during a time of unprecedented competition.”

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Report: Clean mobility sector pumps $18B into Michigan’s economy annually

New report on clean mobility in Michigan details economic, environmental, consumer benefits

The clean mobility sector contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy and generates over $700 million in state and local tax revenue annually, according to a new economic analysis released today by Clean Fuels Michigan. The study was conducted by Public Sector Consultants and analyzed various economic benefits that result from private sector investments in research, development and commercialization of clean mobility technologies. Clean mobility includes vehicles that use less-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels, propane, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, electrification and hybrids.

“Whether we are looking to support advanced mobility innovations like autonomous or connected vehicles, preserve and grow our skilled workforce, or do more to support clean energy solutions, clean transportation technologies are truly the backbone of a global arms race towards the next generation of mobility,” said Mike Alaimo, Executive Director of Clean Fuels Michigan.  “As the auto capital of the world, Michigan needs to ensure that our policies reflect the rapid change and fierce competition in the global arena.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The clean mobility sector contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy each year, generating over $700 million in state and local taxes
  • With indirect and induced employment, Michigan’s clean mobility supply chain contributes over 69,000 jobs to the state’s economy
  • Michigan currently has 29,000 direct clean fuel vehicle jobs
  • Technology and policy changes will push the vehicle sector increasingly towards clean fuels
  • Clean fuel vehicles have enormous potential to decrease healthcare costs associated with poor air quality

“The rapid growth of clean fuel vehicles has big implications for Michigan’s automotive, tech and energy industries, which make up a significant portion of the state’s workforce,” said Jeff Guilfoyle, Vice President of Public Sector Consultants and lead author of the study. “Millions of these vehicles are projected to be on our roads over the next few years. Government policies have and will continue to play an important role when looking at ways this evolving industry can affect Michigan’s overall economic health.”

Michigan Automakers and utility companies are actively working to support the increased adoption of electric vehicles and see significant benefits of vehicle electrification for Michigan.

“Supporting innovation in the clean fuels sector can drive down costs and help us overcome barriers to electric vehicle adoption, like access to charging infrastructure,” saidVince Carioti, Director of E-Mobility at Phoenix Contact. “As a large, privately held auto supplier, we see enormous opportunity for growth in Michigan’s clean fuels sector and are excited about working to increase our presence there.”

“DTE Energy is working to ensure plug-in electric and natural gas vehicles (PEVs and NGVs respectively) are integrated in a manner that ensures safe and reliable operation of the grid,” said Rob Bacyinski, Program Manager of Natural Gas Vehicle Business Development, DTE Energy and Chair of the Board at Clean Fuels Michigan. “We believe that clean fuels and electric vehicles will bring added benefits to not only the energy grid, but customers and the public at large.”

The full report can be found here.

New all-electric school bus makes a debut

Motiv Power Systems and Creative Bus Sales Inc. have partnered up in the creation of this all-electric school bus. It provides a opportunity for school districts to reduce their carbon footprint, improve conditions for students’ health and save on fuel costs. The zero-emission school bus will use the Motiv’s electric powertrain, a Ford F-59 chassis and Starcraft body. Features of the e-Quest XL bus include passenger capacity of up to 48, a range of up to 85 miles, and the attainment of a 50% battery charge within two hours, among others.

Read the full article on NGTNews.com →

Electric and autonomous concept cars featured at CES 2016

CES 2016, the technology trade show will feature both production-ready electric cars and autonomous concept cars from automakers such as GM and Volkswagen AG.  There will be around 3,600 companies featured at this show. At the show’s new conference, Ford will be discussing its recent partnership with Google to build driverless cars. This partnership is important to maintain Michigan’s leadership in the auto industry as new trends in mobility arise.

Read the full article on the Detroit News →

Federal Alternative Fuel Tax Credits Extended

The tax bill named the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, extends many  federal tax credits that expired in 2014. This legislation will extend through 2016 and will ultimately help consumers save money and get more clean fuel vehicles on the road. The bill package extends the 1,000 home refueling tax credit and the alternative vehicle refueling property subsidy. Additionally, it includes several incentives that are beneficial to the biofuels industry.

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Pennsylvania announces new alternative fuel vehicle rebates

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP ) announced the new vehicle rebates that are available through the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant Program. Plug in vehicle models such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus and Chevy Volt are eligible for rebate amount of 2,000. Natural gas, propane, hydrogen or fuel cell vehicles are eligible for the $1,000 rebate. California has also announced additional grants under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology program.

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Chrysler completes $40 million switch to new CNG truck fleet

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finished a two year, $40 million project to switch a new fleet of 179 trucks powered by CNG and renovate its truck operations center on Detroit’s east side. By making this change it is estimated that Chrysler will save $2.5 million annually on fuel costs. This investment demonstrates the automaker’s commitment to improve the air quality of Michigan and invest in the city of Detroit.

Read the full article on the Detroit Free Press →

How Michigan’s New Road Funding Plan Affects Alt-Fuel Vehicles

Known nationally and internationally as the birthplace of the automobile industry, Michigan has become equally prominent for its crumbling roads and aging infrastructure.

Over the past several years, there have been numerous attempts to solve Michigan’s road funding problem, including a ballot proposal earlier this year. At last, Nov. 10 marked an important day for Michigan, as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a comprehensive road funding package into law, the first of its kind since 1997…

While sensitive to arguments against the new legislative package, nonprofit advocacy group Clean Fuels Michigan (CFM) acknowledged the need to finally see a road funding solution signed into law…

Read the full article on NGTNews.com →