"The Senate bill has natural gas and electric vehicle components that the president certainly believes are important to continuing progress we've made," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was quoted as saying by DetNews.
Most of the money are to go towards incentives of $10,00 to $4,000 for those who purchase vehicles powered by natural gas. Additionally, grants of up to $50,000 will be given for the creation of the refueling infrastructure.
Out of the entire sum, only $400 million will go into supporting electric vehicles, mostly into the creation of the required infrastructure. According to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, funding for EVs was not initially included in the piece of legislation, but eventually made it in. In her view, natural gas vehicles are only a mid-term solution to US' oil dependence.
Last week, the Senate approved a $25 billion loan program to support the adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles. The money are also to be used to implement measures which will hurry the expansion of this segment of the industry.
Under the legislation, the Department of Energy (DoE) is to create strategies for mass adoption of plug-in hybrids. An “Advanced Batteries for Tomorrow Prize,” grant will be set up, with $10 million to be given to the first company to develop a battery which would allow for a range of 500 miles (804 km).