US: senators give alternative fuel research program another try image

US senators have recently introduced legislation that would authorize the US Energy Department to invest more than one billion dollars over the next few years to research and develop improvements of the fuels currently used by cars and trucks.

US senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, together with Republican Lamar Alexander showed the bill that actually reauthorizes the Vehicle Technology Program’s budget – set for $314 million over the next fiscal year, with increases of 4 percent each year through 2020. According to Peters, the new program is here to “ensure our auto manufacturers and suppliers continue to lead the way in developing the cutting-edge technologies that will help them compete globally.”

While the governments of the world have been hard at work imposing new, tougher emissions and fuel economy standards, the consumers have not been very eager to adopt the new batch of electric, plug in hybrid and fuel cell cars, with the expected green revolution not yet tasking place. So, alternative fuel research could become key in reaching the crucial new standards, with Audi for example already delivering the first batches of synthetic diesel fuel produced mostly out of renewable sources.

The US program, which has not been reauthorized by the congress for at least seven years, was still operational, with the Energy Department working with numerous researchers to develop alternative fuel for vehicles. The new approval would also allow research and development of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems to become eligible for funding.