The US government wants to encourage manufacturers to build more fuel-efficient vehicles, regardless of whether these have four, three or two wheels!
US President Barack Obama recently signed legislation which makes high-efficiency two- and three-wheeled vehicles eligible for loans under the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. Earlier, only conventional four-wheeled cars were eligible to apply for loans under this program. Now, however, various companies that are in the process of developing hybrid and/or electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers will also be able to get loans.
As much as US$25 billion has been allocated to the DOE for its ATVM loan program, which is designed to provide cheap capital for retooling old factories to produce vehicles that are at least 25% more fuel-efficient than the average 2005-model car. With the new legislation having been signed, all fully enclosed vehicles (including three-wheelers and two-wheelers) that are capable of carrying two adults and achieving at least 75mpg (32km/l) in terms of fuel efficiency, are eligible for getting loans from the DOE.
With loans becoming available, it should be interesting to see whether more manufactures will start development work on new, more fuel-efficient three- and two-wheeled vehicles in the US. Also, it remains to be seen whether these vehicles will be commercially viable in the short- to mid-term future.
This video shows why we love three-wheelers so much! :-D