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House considers funding green vehicle research

Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn poses with the automaker's new electronic vehicle 'Leaf' during an opening ceremony of the company's new headquarters  in Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn poses with the automaker's new electronic vehicle 'Leaf' during an opening ceremony of the company's new headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The search for greener vehicles could get a boost today when the House votes on a bill that could allow the Energy Department to spend up to $550 million a year to conduct advanced research.

It represents the latest move by Congress and the Obama administration to aid the auto industry after stepping in with billions of dollars to rescue General Motors and Chrysler.

Administration officials yesterday released plans to raise the gas mileage standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and link greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy requirements.

The bill would push the government to team up with companies and universities to research technologies such as batteries for hybrid vehicles, electric cars, hydrogen fuel cells and infrastructure for the electric grid.

Congress is expected to provide funding for the program later.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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