Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011 (S. 948)

Key Information
Sponsor: Merkley (D-OR)
Status: Assigned to Committee (May 19, 2011)

View Legislation

Provides funding for EV deployment communities, DOE technical assistance for the communities, DOE grants for community and other deployment assistance.  The DOE shall establish a funding program for R&D in advanced batteries, EV components, and EV infrastructure.  Promotes use of EVs in federal and private fleets, requires utilities to plan for EV infrastructure.

Bill Details:

Title I. National Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Program

§ 106. Targeted Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Community Program

  • This bill authorizes up to $250 million for communities to invest in electric vehicle (EV) deployment in a 3-year program costing up to $2 billion.
  • Not less than 80% of the cost of an activity under this section must be funded by non-federal sources. 
  • At least one deployment community will contain fewer than 500,000 people and at least one will be in each of five Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts 
  • States, local governments, and tribes are eligible to apply for funding for deployment communities.

§ 103. Technical Assistance

  • The Energy Secretary shall provide technical assistance upon request and shall establish a program to provide grants to states, local, and tribal governments and public-private partnerships to assist in preparing community deployment plans and in preparing and implementing programs to support the deployment of EVs.  The bill authorizes $100 million for implementation and technical assistance for fiscal years 2011-2016.

§ 105. Federal Fleets

  • EVs will be considered alternative fuel vehicles under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
  • A pilot program allows the General Services Administrator to require the purchase or leasing of EVs for federal fleets and authorizes $25 million for associated incremental costs be appropriated to the Federal Government.

§ 107. Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Private Fleet Upgrade Program

  • $300 million in grants and loan guarantees is authorized to help companies transform large fleets of work vehicles to EVs.  Up to $20m per fleet, 80% of cost paid by the company.

Title II. Research and Development

§ 201. Research and Development Program

  • $375 million is authorized for Department of Energy (DOE) battery research
  • The bill authorizes $235 million for to fund DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program (ARPA-E), including $15 million in grants for projects that demonstrate secondary uses of vehicle batteries.

§ 202. Advanced Batteries for Tomorrow Prize

  • The Energy Secretary shall establish a Advanced Batteries for Tomorrow Prize which will award a $10 million prize for development and commercial application of a 500-mile battery, subject to availability of funds, with an additional $1m authorized for prizes for technical developments toward that goal.

§ 204.Study on the Collection and Preservation of Data Collected from Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicles

  • The National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study that identifies the data that may be collected from plug-in electric vehicles, including data on the location, charging patterns, and usage of the vehicles; potential uses of the data; and any laws or regulations relating to the data.  The Academy will also analyze and provide recommendations on procedures, technologies, and rules relating to the collection, storage, and preservation of the data.

Title III. Miscellaneous

§ 310. Utility Planning for Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicles

  • The bill requires utilities to develop a plan to support the use of EVs.  This section would also require each state regulatory authority, publicly-owned utility, and cooperative to participate in local planning.
  • The bill creates a Technical Advisory Committee, which will work with the Secretary of Energy and stakeholders to consider approaches to billing for home and public charging, planning for vehicle-to-grid applications, integration with the smart grid, and other topics.


Introduced: May 11, 2011