The U.S. Senate has approved an energy bill that reauthorizes a federal program that works with truck manufacturers and suppliers to improve fuel efficiency. The Energy Policy Modernization Act was passed with a vote of 85-12, according to a press release.

The bipartisan bill covered energy conservation across the board, including natural gas and electric power. It also included a provision from the Vehicle Innovation Act (VIA) that helped fund the research and development of clean vehicle technology.

Michigan senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow joined Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander to co-authored the VIA, which reauthorizes and modernizes the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program, which conducts research on improving fuel efficiency.

It also encourages the development of vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems in an effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce traffic accidents.

The energy bill will now go to the U.S. House of Representatives to reconcile their bill with the Senate bill before reaching the White House. If passed, this will be the first broad energy legislation since 2007.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet