(a) The Congress finds and declares that–

Terms Used In 15 USC 2501

  • hybrid vehicle: means a vehicle propelled by a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine or other power source and components thereof. See 15 USC 2502
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4

(1) the Nation’s dependence on foreign sources of petroleum must be reduced, as such dependence jeopardizes national security, inhibits foreign policy, and undermines economic well-being;

(2) the Nation’s balance of payments is threatened by the need to import oil for the production of liquid fuel for gasoline-powered vehicles;

(3) the single largest use of petroleum supplies is in the field of transportation, for gasoline- and diesel-powered motor vehicles;

(4) the expeditious introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles into the Nation’s transportation fleet would substantially reduce such use and dependence;

(5) such introduction is practicable and would be advantageous because–

(A) most urban driving consists of short trips, which are within the capability of electric and hybrid vehicles;

(B) much rural and agricultural driving of automobiles, tractors, and trucks is within the capability of such vehicles;

(C) electric and hybrid vehicles are more reliable and practical now than in the past because propulsion, control, and battery technologies have improved, and further significant improvements in such technologies are possible in the near term;

(D) electric and hybrid vehicles use little or no energy when stopped in traffic, in contrast to conventional automobiles and trucks;

(E) the power requirements of such vehicles could be satisfied by charging them during off-peak periods when existing electric generating plants are underutilized, thereby permitting more efficient use of existing generating capacity;

(F) such vehicles do not emit any significant pollutants or noise; and

(G) it is environmentally desirable for transportation systems to be powered from central sources, because pollutants emitted from stationary sources (such as electric generating plants) are potentially easier to control than pollutants emitted from moving vehicles; and

(6) the introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles would be facilitated by the establishment of a Federal program of research, development, and demonstration to explore electric and hybrid vehicle technologies.

(b) It is therefore declared to be the policy of the Congress in this chapter to–

(1) encourage and support accelerated research into, and development of, electric and hybrid vehicle technologies;

(2) demonstrate the economic and technological practicability of electric and hybrid vehicles for personal and commercial use in urban areas and for agricultural and personal use in rural areas;

(3) facilitate, and remove barriers to, the use of electric and hybrid vehicles in lieu of gasoline- and diesel-powered motor vehicles, where practicable; and

(4) promote the substitution of electric and hybrid vehicles for many gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles currently used in routine short-haul, low-load applications, where such substitution would be beneficial.