More Clean Cars Mean More American Jobs

Natural Resources Defense Council's new report notes that the American auto industry has added 236,600 jobs since it hit bottom in June of 2009, due to a significant degree to Obama stimulus program encouraging greener car technologies, write Jim Motovalli.

Published: 13-Aug-2012

Clean cars create jobs. The Big Three automakers, addicted to the profits they made off big SUVs, saw economic ruin in subcompacts, hybrids and — heaven forbid — battery electrics. But now they’re all building them — even Chrysler.

In the first half of 2012, we had the most fuel-efficient fleet of new passenger vehicles ever, averaging 23.8 mpg (up 1.1 mpg from 2011). The auto industry has had some setbacks (and Europe is a bother), but mostly it’s recovered from 2009 and is on track to sell 14.1 million cars this year (up 1.4 million from 2011).

And it’s working! The American automakers aren’t going bankrupt (again), but are instead reporting profits. They managed to hold their noses and produce compacts, hybrids and tech breakthroughs like the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. Ironically, the biggest headaches these international players have are in Europe, where the recession means that people aren’t buying cars. If they did buy them, they’d be tiny. SUVs? The main life there is in crossovers, built on relatively small car platforms.


Buyers of plug-in cars like the Volt would benefit from $10,000 tax credit under new White House proposal.

The new subsidy level represents a 33 percent jump from the current $7,500 government payout for each plug-in car buyer.

President Obama enters Marine One helicopter. Photo credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The report groups the efforts into five main categories from increasing energy independence to next generation innovation.

Although Volt program began under previous Republican Administration, President Obama has championed electric vehicle technology.

Jen Alic looks at the current spitting match between President Obama's re-election campaign and presumed Republican challenger, Willard M. Romney.


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