On Wednesday, in his 2014 budget proposal, President Barack Obama proposed a huge hike in vehicle research funding, with $575 million to go towards the DoE's "EV Everywhere" initiative.
EV Everywhere Blueprint Targets
Obama called for the Energy Department's "EV Everywhere" budget to increase by 75 percent to $575 million, a move that the Presidents says is targeted at making electric vehicles as affordable and as gas-fueled autos for the average American family within a decade.
More specifically, President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal submitted to Congress provides $28.4 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Energy. Transportation-related highlights of the proposal include $575 million for advanced vehicle technologies research. Funding will go towards electrification, lightweight materials, lubricant technologies, battery development and advancing electric-drive systems.
Here's how the DoE summarizes its "EV Everywhere Grand Challenge:"
"With their immense potential for increasing the country's energy, economic, and environmental security, plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles (also known as plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs) will play a key role in the country's transportation future. In fact, transitioning to electric drive vehicles (including hybrid-electric) could reduce U.S. foreign oil dependence by more than 80% and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60%. The EV Everywhere Grand Challenge focuses on the U.S. becoming the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family as today's gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years."
If President Obama's proposed budget is approved, then the Grand Challenge will get the essential funding it needs to have an actual impact on the development and advancement of plug-in vehicles. But, as is typically the case in US politics these days, Obama's proposed budget will likely get reduced and electric vehicle spending would probably be one of the first items to be cut down in size.