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President’s Budget Proposal Could Be Big Boon for Auto Industry

Administration wants $2 bil for advanced vehicle research funding.

by on Apr.11, 2013

President Obama is proposing efforts to promote America's energy independence, including tax credits for electric vehicles.

President Barack Obama is proposing a number of new efforts designed to improve the nation’s transportation system, with a mix of high-speed rails, cleaner fuels, tax credits for those buying alternatively powered vehicles – and as much as $2 billion in funding for advanced vehicle programs.

“We’ll continue our march toward energy independence,” Obama said in presenting his budget proposal to Congress. A key goal will be to eliminate the need for foreign oil imports over the next decade.

Part of that would involve increasing the Department of Energy’s vehicle research budget by 75% to $575 million, while also creating an energy trust fund the administration had previously outlined.

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The budget proposal renewed the White House push to expand credits for those buying electric vehicles and plug-ins. Such buyers now qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits – for which they may have to wait months until next filing with the IRS. The administration would like to bump the number up to $10,000 for qualified vehicles and have the credits become available more immediately.

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Motown = Railroad Town?

Could the Big Three switch gears and support high-speed rail?

by on Apr.17, 2009

Could Detroit find new opportunity reusing idled plants to produce an American bullet train?

Could Detroit find new opportunity reusing idled plants to produce an American bullet train?

When you spend as much time on the road, as I do, especially overseas, you start realizing that automobiles really aren’t the only way to get around.  Even in car-centric states like California, mass transit is gaining traction.  In Europe and Japan, rail is increasingly the way to go, whether for your daily commute, or to travel cross-country.

And if President Obama has his way, the same thing could happen here.  The president wants to spend $13 billion to seed the development of a nationwide, high-speed rail network, much like Japan’s legendary bullet trains and the nearly 200 mph French TGV.  The White House this week identified 10 possible routes, including a network in California, and others along the East Coast.

The president also gave a boost to long-standing hopes to create a Midwest high-speed rail system that would have its hub in Chicago, and link to cities including St. Louis, Milwaukee and Detroit.

“This was incredible,” responded Rick Harnish, executive director of the advocacy group, the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.  “He has set a new direction for the country” – and not only for the millions of potential passengers advocates believe a U.S. bullet train could lure out of cars and airplanes.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comCould the development of high-speed rail create a new business model for Detroit’s struggling Big Three?

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