Jerry McNerney helps lead drive for electric cars

Rep. Jerry McNerney today helped introduce a bipartisan bill to help encourage more widespread use of electric cars.

The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act – which McNerney, D-Pleasanton, co-authored with Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Judy Biggert, R-Illinois; and Edward Markey, D-Mass. – would establish 10 “deployment communities” around the country to serve as hubs for increasing the use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Jerry McNerney“Our area has the right ingredients to be selected and successful as a regional hub for electric vehicle development and manufacturing,” McNerney said in a news release. “We have the resources to create new technology, the people with training and skills to manufacture these types of cars, and companies that are established and poised to expand in the electric vehicle field. This legislation would give our area and other places around the country the opportunity to compete for grants and other key incentives to jumpstart the electric vehicle industry.”

The bill would authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish regional electric vehicle hubs after evaluating applications from communities throughout the country, taking into account criteria such as the quality of their plans, benefits to consumers, and the ability of the community to increase the use of electric vehicles. Based on these applications, the Secretary of Energy will then competitively award up to $300 million in grants to each of the regional hubs.

Consumers in these communities would be offered incentives to buy electric cars, including $2,000 to the first 50,000 people within each hub who buy electric drive vehicles. The bill also extends federal tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment for individuals (up to $2,000) or businesses (up to $50,000 for multiple equipment purchases). And the bill provides incentives for the use and manufacturing of electric vehicle technologies, including bond authority and a limited number of smaller grants for municipalities not selected as a hub.

“At a time of high unemployment and soaring gas prices this legislation is a win-win proposal,” McNerney said. “By spurring growth in the electric vehicle field we will create jobs and also provide people with more choices when it comes to the type of car they want to drive. With gas prices continuing to rise, more and more people are looking for a vehicle that will save them money.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Tom Benigno

    Jerry; The gas guzzlers are going to be comming after you now. They want conbustible engines.