Washington, D.C.– Today, Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner applauded the House of Representatives for unanimously passing his bill, H.R. 445, the Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 2009.
The legislation funds research and development (R&D) of hybrid technologies for medium and heavy duty trucks, creating grants for manufacturers to build, test, and ultimately sell plug-in hybrid utility and delivery trucks.
“I applaud the House for taking this important step in promoting new technology that will help achieve energy independence and combat climate change,” Sensenbrenner said. “This legislation takes an innovative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lessening our dependence on foreign oil and strengthening the U.S. economy. I am hopeful that Senator Kohl, who is an original bill co-sponsor, will move the legislation through the Senate with similar success, so the President is able to sign this important legislation into law.”
One estimate by the Eaton Corporation found that as few as 10,000 hybrid electric trucks could reduce diesel fuel usage by 7.2 million gallons per year (approximately one million barrels of oil). According to the United States Bureau of Transit Statistics, in 2006, there were an estimated 2.2 million trucks on the road. Wide-scale hybridization of trucks therefore has the potential to reduce oil consumption by more than 200 million barrels per year.
Sensenbrenner’s bill would create a grant program to support the development and commercialization of hybrid trucks. It would also require the Department of Energy to conduct a study of alternative power train designs for use in advanced heavy duty hybrid vehicles. Finally, the Secretary would be charged with establishing a pilot program testing the effects of the widespread use of plug-in hybrid vehicles on the domestic electric power grid.
Commonly referred to as the Hybrid Truck bill, the House of Representatives passed the same bill last year, but it expired without consideration in the Senate. Sensenbrenner reintroduced the legislation in January of this year.
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