By on January 28, 2009

Green Car Congress reports that the Senate Committe On Finance is recommending (PDF) increases in the amount and size of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) tax credit. The proposal has been put forward as part of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009. The availability of PHEV tax credits would be doubled under the plan, from 250k to half a million vehicles sold before the credit phases out. The tax break amount is unchanged, with a base credit of $2,500 per qualifying PHEV plus $417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity in excess of four kilowatt-hours. For vehicles under 10k lbs, the maximum credit is $7,500. Credits increase by vehicle weight, but the maximum (for vehicles over 26k lbs) is $15k.

A new category for Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) would also be created under the Senate plan, excluding them from the standard PHEV credit. Because, Mr Arnell, they aren’t cars. The maximum LSV credit would be $4k. But here’s the problem: there are tons of overpriced, unusable LSVs on the market, but no actual PHEVs. Yet. The credit won’t go into effect until January 2010, but the Volt (which is clearly being targeted with this credit) won’t be available until “late 2010.” Until then, who will qualify for this credit? Toyota’s plug-in Prius, the Tesla and large hybrid buses and commercial vehicles. Shouldn’t Detroit’s lobbyists look into this?

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6 Comments on “Senate Finance Committee Proposes Plug-In Tax Credit Hike...”

  • avatar

    @ Ed

    The problem for Detroit is that Toyota are already ahead of the curve. Daimler too.

    In Australia Hino are rolling out cost competitive hybrid chassis for all sorts of local area delivery and service functions into quite high ratings.

    The available fuel savings in heavy road transport boggle the mind. (Not interstate transport – go rail for that).

  • avatar

    This will be quite the boost for the makers of Hybrid Class 7 & 8 vehicles.

    I wonder how it deals with the storage capacity of hydraulic hybrids?

    They have a lot of promise for local stop and go trucks like Package Cars and Refuse Collection.

  • avatar

    @ RedStapler

    Excuse my laziness, but what sorts of GVW are class 7 & 8? I assume in the USA?

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    And what is this supposed to accomplish? A reduction in carbon dioxide from automobile tailpipes. So that pushes the carbon dioxide emissions to electricity factories, which are powered by coal. Which makes carbon dioxide emissions from really big exhaust pipes, plus all the train loads to get it there, and all the big giant yellow, orange and green monsters that pull it out of the ground.

  • avatar

    And what is this supposed to accomplish?

    environmentalists suggest that it would still reduce emissions significantly. And the more cars you have plugging into the grid, the more incentive scientists and developers have to produce electicity from non-fossil fuel souces – such as wind, water or solar sources.

    Honda and Toyota are working on solar sources to generate electricity (for Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Plug in Hybrids, resepectively. They recognize the fact that using coal to produce electicity for EV is only a start and needs to become fully ‘green’

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