WASHINGTON, D.C. – General Motors Corp. has called on Congress to increase its support of auto industry efforts to speed implementation of advanced technologies and wean the nation from foreign oil, according to the Detroit News. The call comes as momentum is building on Capitol Hill to force automakers to improve vehicle efficiency — a requirement that would cost them billions of dollars and force them to make smaller, lighter cars, hybridize others, or drop out of inefficient market segments, according to the Detroit News. GM displayed its plug-in hybrid concept, the Chevrolet Volt, outside a Senate hearing room. During the hearing, GM’s vice president for energy and environment, Beth Lowery, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the government should fund a major effort to increase research and development in battery technology and to support manufacturing of advanced batteries, according to a draft of her prepared remarks obtained by the Detroit News. Lowery called on Congress to add incentives and consumer tax credits for advanced automotive technology to reduce petroleum consumption. She also said the federal government should increase its purchase of advanced vehicles.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials