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H.R. 8800 (94th): Electric Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 22, 1976.

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-1363) Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act - Directs the Administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) to establish with ERDA the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Project. Directs the Administrator to promote basic and applied research pursuant to this Act, conduct demonstration programs, ascertain consumer needs and desires on electric and hybrid vehicles, and ascertain long-term changes in road design, urban planning, utility rate structures, and tax policies needed to manufacture and use such vehicles. Directs the Administrator to coordinate with the Secretary of Transportation functions which relate to regulatory or other responsibilities of the Secretary, including safety and damageability programs. Directs the Administrator to promulgate performance standards for electric and hybrid vehicles, and thereafter to purchase or lease 2,500 such vehicles for demonstration purposes. Directs the Administrator to purchase or lease within six years 5,000 advanced vehicles for demonstration purposes. Requires the Administrator to provide funds by contract to initiate and maintain research, development, and demonstration programs for activities necessary to carry out the purposes of the project. Directs the Administrator to reserve a reasonable portion of such funds for contracts with small businesses. Authorizes the Administrator to guarantee payment of loans to initiate and maintain research of development of such vehicles. Limits the total guarantee of any loan to $3,000,000 and the aggregate of such guarantees to $60,000,000. Authorizes the Administrator to pay the interest charges on the unpaid balance of any loan guaranteed under this Act. Requires the Postmaster General, the Administrator of the General Services Administration, the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other agencies to study the practicability of using such vehicles in the functions of their agencies. Requires the introduction of such vehicles into their fleets to maximum extent practicable. Applies the provisions of the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act with respect to the vesting in the United States of title to inventions and the issuance of patents on such inventions. Directs the Administrator to conduct studies: (1) to determine the existance of any institutional factor which tends to bias surface transportation systems toward vehicles of particular characteristics; (2) to promote broader utilization and consumer acceptance of electric and hybrid vehicle technologies; (3) to determine the applicability of safety standards to electric and hybrid vehicles, and (4) to determine the feasibility of including regenerative braking systems on electric and other automobiles. Requires the Administrator to submit to Congress annually a report on all activities being undertaken pursuant to this Act. Declares, under the National Aeronautics and Space Act, the unique competence of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is required to be directed toward ground propulsion systems and research and development thereon, and requires NASA to initiate such research and development. Authorizes appropriations for purposes of carrying out this Act.