California Air Resources Board Proposal: In Sep. 2004, California regulators approved a plan to drastically reduce vehicle emissions related to global warming over the next 11 years. California is joined by nine other states forming a powerful alternative regulatory bloc. Car companies will have to raise the fuel-efficiency standards of their products, or face being blocked from approximately one-third of the nation’s auto market.

Vehicle and Fuel Choices For America’s Security Act: Based on the Blueprint for Energy Security of the Set America Free Coalition, the bill provides an array of policy initiatives from financial incentives to enable Detroit to ramp up production (and consumers to ramp up acquisition) of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and flexible fuel vehicles to increase fuel choice, to measures to reduce diesel consumption by heavy duty trucks.

The Healthcare for Hybrids Act: The bill proposes that up to 10 percent of the retiree health care costs for a qualifying auto manufacturer be paid by federal financial assistance—that is, if the carmaker invests at least 50 percent of the those savings into alt-fuel, flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles, including the retooling of assembly lines, the retraining of workers, and other costs associated with "the diversifying of domestic production of automobiles through the offering of high-performance fuel efficient vehicles."

The Apollo Alliance: The Apollo Alliance proposes a $300 billion, public-private program to create three million new, clean energy jobs to free America from foreign oil dependence in ten years. They aim to "to save the American auto industry," which is losing market share to the Japanese who have innovated with higher efficiency vehicles, such as hybrid cars.

JumpStart Ford Campaign: Global Exchange, in partnership with Rainforest Action Network, is asking Ford and its competitors to improve the efficiency of their vehicles to 50 mpg by 2010 and to completely eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. JumpStart Ford points to hybrid vehicles as proof of the feasibility of their requests.

The Detroit Project: Glorifying hybrid cars and vilifying SUVs is the main strategy of "American for Fuel Efficient Cars," which has created an ad campaign aiming to get Detroit to build more fuel-efficient cars. The group was co-founded by big-name hybrid advocates, such as columnist Arianna Huffington, and environmental activist Laurie David, wife of Larry David who drives a Toyota Prius on his HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” (It’s not clear from their website how many of the ads have aired.)

More Hybrid News...