Senator Alexander says unused electricity should be used to plugin cars

"A conservative estimate is that we have an amount of electricity unused at night that’s equal to the output of 65 to 70 nuclear power plants between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.," Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) stated before the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee. “I suspect that’s probably our greatest unused resource in the United States. If we were to use that to plug in cars and trucks at night, we could electrify 43 percent of our cars and trucks without building one new power plant.”

The remarks were part of the Sen. Alexanders’s address to the committee today regarding the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act introduced he introduced last week with the co-sponsorship of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore). The bill proposes providing short-term incentives to advance the adoption of electric vehicles as the best way to take advantage of available resources and lessen national dependence on foreign oil.

The bill must pass through the committee before going to the Senate floor for a vote. A similar bill passed through the committee last year on a 19 to 4 vote.

After greeting his distinguished colleagues, Alexander pointed out that, “The difference this year is that the price of gasoline is higher than it was last year, and the bill before you today costs less than it did last year.”

He believes this is an appropriate role for the Federal government to create short-term incentives for much wider acceptance of electric vehicles and further research into battery power storage.

“Finally, if you believe that the solution to four-dollar gasoline and high energy prices is finding more American energy and using less, this is the best way to use less. Electrifying half of our cars and trucks could reduce our use of foreign oil by one-third, saving money on how we fuel our transportation system and cutting into the billions of dollars we send overseas for foreign oil.”

He continued to tell the story of how Ross Perot made billions by buying the computer time banks weren’t using at night and selling cheap computer time to state governments.

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