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Plug-In Electric Vehicles Finally Receive Substantial Funding

Posted Apr. 9, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

Solar Fuel StationsFriends of the Earth has long promoted plug-in electric vehicles as a way to dramatically reduce pollution from transportation, especially in states like California where the electric grid contains a significant percentage of renewable power. Plug-in electric vehicles received a major boost—over $10 billion in funds—through the recent federal Stimulus Package. Funding is now available for charging infrastructure development, expanded tax credits for consumers who purchase plug-ins, federal fleet purchases of plug-ins, seed money for battery manufacturers, and vehicle production tax credits.

In response, Friends of the Earth’s Clean Cars Campaign is organizing a regional initiative in the Bay Area, an early adopter of electric vehicles, to build a network of solar-powered charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. These solar fuel stations will power plug-in vehicles with 100 percent renewable energy! Over a dozen different plug-in models will be available to the public as early as next year. Friends of the Earth is building on this momentum and working to make communities "plug-in ready" with clean charging infrastructure such as solar fuel stations, financed in part, we hope, by these federal funds. Friends of the Earth is conducting outreach to businesses, municipalities and state government leaders, educating them about the possibility of fueling a substantial portion of their driving miles from renewable energy.

Solar fuel stations provide plug-in electric vehicles with fuel from solar energy generated by photovoltaic panels mounted on carports or on adjacent building roofs. Fueling vehicles from the sun will not only radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, but will serve as a model for the nation that a zero emissions transportation future is possible in the near-term.

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