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Senate Minority Leader Proposes $454 Billion Plan to Swap Gasoline-Powered Cars for Cleaner Vehicles

The New York Democrat said in a statement that his plan, which would provide rebates of $3,000 or more to individual buyers

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Chuck Schumer, Gasoline, Cars
FILE - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 22, 2019. Schumer is proposing a trade-in program to get millions of Americans out of climate-damaging gas vehicles and into electric or hybrid cars. VOA

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday proposed a $454 billion plan over 10 years to help shift the United States away from gasoline-powered cars and trucks by offering cash vouchers to help Americans buy cleaner vehicles.

The New York Democrat said in a statement that his plan, which would provide rebates of $3,000 or more to individual buyers, would help transition 25% of the U.S. fleet, or 63 million vehicles, away from traditional internal combustion-engine vehicles within 10 years.

The plan would be key to reducing the impact of climate change, Schumer said, noting that the transportation sector accounts for nearly one-third of U.S. carbon output.

The plan would award $392 billion in subsidies for owners of gasoline-powered vehicles at least eight years old and in driving condition to trade them in for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid or fuel-cell cars, the statement said. The old vehicles would be scrapped.

Chuck Schumer, Gasoline, Cars
FILE – A model holds the power cable that charges the new electric Audi e-tron Quatro, displayed at the e-Motor show in Beirut, Lebanon, April 11, 2019. VOA

Midwestern support

The proposal came as both Democrats and Republicans are looking to win the support of auto workers in key Midwestern swing states who could be key to determining if President Donald Trump is re-elected and who controls Congress in the November 2020 elections.

Car buyers would get rebates ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 or more, plus another $2,000 for low-income buyers, for the purchase of U.S.-made vehicles, Schumer said.

The plan would “reduce the number of carbon-emitting cars on the road, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by midcentury,” Schumer said.

Also Read- Pledges for International Fund to Help Poor Nations Tackle Climate Change Reach about $10 Billion

It would adopt rules similar to those of the 2009 $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” plan that sought to stimulate U.S. auto sales.

Schumer’s proposal would provide $45 billion for additional EV charging stations and $17 billion in incentives for automakers to build new factories or retool existing ones to assemble zero-emission vehicles or charging equipment, with a goal that by 2040 “all vehicles on the road should be clean.”

Rollback of efficiency rules

In August 2018, the Trump administration proposed rolling back Obama-era fuel efficiency requirements through 2026, and its “preferred option” would increase U.S. oil consumption by about 500,000 barrels a day. The administration is expected to finalize its proposal by the end of this year.

Chuck Schumer, Gasoline, Cars
FILE – The electric vehicle logo shines off the fender of a 2019 Bolt at a Chevrolet dealership in Englewood, Colo., May 19, 2019. VOA

Schumer said his proposal had the support of environmental groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, as well as labor unions.

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., which are both spending billions to develop electric vehicles, said they appreciated Schumer’s efforts, with GM praising the effort to “advance electrification through much-needed infrastructure investments, consumer incentives and promotion of American electric vehicle manufacturing.”

Also Read- Researchers Find Cells Linked to Blindness in Elderly People

United Auto Workers President Gary Jones said in a statement that the Schumer proposal “honors the sweat and sacrifice of American autoworkers by investing in domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles and incentivizing high-quality jobs across the auto supply chain.” (VOA)

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New Electric Car by Sony Leaves Car Makers Worried: Report

Why car makers should be afraid of Sony's electric car

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Sony car
CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony - a move that must make traditional car makers worried. (Representational Image). Pixabay

One of the biggest surprises at this year’s CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony – a move that must make traditional car makers worried, says a new report.

According to data-driven market research company Cascend, the car was built by Sony’s internal AI and robotics team (who makes their robotic dog, Aibo) with (significant) engineering support from Austria-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr.

“With increasing sensors, displays, controllers and infotainment, vehicles are becoming more-and-more like electronics products,” said the report.

Sony already makes display and infotainment systems which are becoming much more important parts of the car and controls.

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Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan. Pixabay

Sony also makes high-res CMOS optical cameras and sensors, solid state lidar, radar and time-of-flight sensors — integrated into an advanced driver assistance system which Sony calls its ‘Safety Cocoon’,” the report added.

Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan.

It comes equipped with a phenomenal 33 different sensors both outside and inside the car, a widescreen display, 360 degree audio, and always-on connectivity, with some pieces coming from industry players like BlackBerry and Bosch.

Vision S is also powered by a “newly-designed EV platform” — engineered by automotive supplier Magna.

“Sony outsourced much of the “car stuff” from autoparts makers powered by an EV “platform” (supposedly engineered by auto supplier Magna) that Sony expects will be able to power other vehicles (like SUVs),” the report said.

Electric vehicles are a massive disruption in car-makers’ manufacturing processes. Their core technologies around combustion engines, drive trains, suspension and body design (over 100 years of development) aren’t particularly relevant.

Also Read- Tesla Cars Will Soon be Talking to Pedestrians, Hints Elon Musk

“And because of this, new EV companies (which aren’t traditional car makers) are springing up everywhere,” said the report.

China understands they can leapfrog traditional car makers (of which they have basically none) to become a powerhouse in EV and are investing heavily. (IANS)