The Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act of 2010 (S. 3815) was introduced by Senator Harry Reid on September 22, 2010 and placed on the Congressional calendar. The Bill, however, has questionable chances of passing. This is likely due in part to the politics of a lame duck session and the recent elections. And at least some commentators believe that even if the bill did come up for a vote, it would fail by a wide margin.

Content of the Proposed Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act of 2010

The Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act of 2010 (S. 3815) is designed to reduce oil consumption and improve energy security by amending the Internal Revenue Code to provide incentives related to natural gas and plug-in electric vehicles. With respect to natural gas vehicles (NGV), the Bill provides rebates to qualified owners of vehicles that are powered completely or in part by natural gas, and provides grants and loans for the development of infrastructure and manufacturing related to NGVs. The Bill would allocate at least $6.3B in incentives and includes a provision to increase the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund financing rate from 9 to 21 cents per barrel.

Rebates for Vehicles

The Bill states that the Secretary shall establish a rebate program for qualified owners who convert or repower a conventionally fueled vehicle to operate in part or completely on natural gas, although details of the rebate program are not provided in the Bill. The Bill also provides for rebates of $8,000 to $64,000 for NGV’s, based on vehicle weight ranging from under 8,500 pounds to over $26,000. There are lower incentives for vehicles that are powered only partially by natural gas.

Other Benefits in the Bill

The Bill also provides grants to encourage the development of infrastructure and manufacturing, including grants up to $50,000 for qualified refuelers for the installation of natural gas refueling properties placed in service between 2011 and 2015. Another aspect is a direct loan program that could be used to pay up to 80 percent of the cost of reequipping, expanding, or establishing a facility in the United States that will be used for the purpose of producing any new qualifed alternative fuel vehicles or any eligible component.

For more information, see the full text of the Bill.