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Washington — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell introduced legislation Wednesday to boost adoption of electric cars.

The legislation, known as the USA Electrify Forward Act, directs U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to "accelerate domestic manufacturing efforts directed toward the improvement of batteries, power electronics and other technologies for use in plug-in electric vehicles." 

It also directs the transportation department to update residential and commercial building codes to encourage the installation of electric-vehicle charging stations and orders states to consider measures to encourage charging stations. 

The bill would appropriate $2 billion annually for the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program from 2021 to 2035.  

The office of the Michigan congresswoman cited a May 2019 AAA survey showing only 16% of Americans said they would consider buying an electric vehicle because most consumers were concerned about purchase price, repair costs and battery reliability. 

“As the effects of climate change intensify and other nations invest heavily in electric vehicle production and adoption, it’s critical the United States accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to remain on the forefront of innovation and global competitiveness,” Dingell said in a statement. “Investing in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure is also pivotal to the United States rapidly transitioning to a clean, net-zero emissions economy.”

Dingell said the USA Electrify Forward Act would make critical investments in manufacturing and infrastructure to lower costs for consumers and producers.

"Americans have a growing interested in electric vehicles," she said, "but we must take steps now to inspire greater consumer confidence and ensure American-made electric vehicles are the greatest in the world."

klaing@detroitnews.com

(202) 662-8735

Twitter: @Keith_Laing

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