By on February 14, 2012

This seems to have gone under the radar of the autoblogosphere but according to the conservative Daily Caller, (and confirmed by White House economic chief Gene Sperling) President Obama’s proposed 2013 (2012 fiscal year) federal budget will include a provision to increase the tax credit on Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs and any other new-technology vehicles including those powered by natural gas to $10,000.The current subsidy is $7,500 per car.

In a White House briefing yesterday, Sperling is quoted as saying, “We give consumers the incentive to buy these cars,” and added that the credit would be $10,000 per auto. The purpose of that increased tax credit is to meet Pres. Obama’s goal of having one million “advanced technology vehicles” on the road by 2015. Though the proposed budget (PDF) doesn’t seem to specifically mention the $10,000 figure, the document repeatedly references “investing” $588 million in funding for the new vehicle technologies through the Department of Energy. Not mentioned by the Daily Caller, and perhaps more significant, is the fact that the president’s FY2012 budget would also change the EV/new-tech subsidy from a tax credit to a rebate available to all consumers at the point of purchase. The article in the Daily Caller points out that the tax credit has been criticized as benefiting primarily affluent people. Market research shows that Chevy Volt buyers  are among GM’s wealthiest customers, earning about $170,000 a year. Changing to a rebate on the hood of the car might make the car more appealing to less affluent consumers without a heavy income tax burden.

Excerpts from the proposed budget are below:

Through a range of programs and tax incentives, this Budget supports my goals of the United States becoming the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015

Specifically, the Budget proposes to: transform the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale

Advance innovative technologies through new R&D investments, building on Recovery Act investments, by investing $588 million for vehicle technologies at DOE—an increase of 80 percent

Helps reach the goal of one million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015 through more than $580 million to assist in research and development, a competitive grant program to support deployment in communities across the country, and enhancements to the existing electric vehicle tax incentive

Helps Put One Million Advanced Technology Vehicles on the Road by 2015. To reach this goal and become the first in the world to do so, the Budget proposes new efforts to support electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the United States. The Budget transforms the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale, and advances innovative technologies through new R&D investments, building on the Recovery Act investments. In addition, the Budget proposes an investment of $588 million for vehicle technologies—an increase of 88 percent above current funding levels, including a new effort to reward communities that invest in electric vehicles and infrastructure and remove regulatory barriers through a $200 million grant program, modeled after the Race to the Top program.

 

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

91 Comments on “Obama Administration’s Proposed Budget Will Reportedly Hike EV Subsidy to $10,000, Change from Tax Credit to Rebate...”


  • avatar
    dejal1

    We are going to make these mo-fos successful even if we have to bump the credit up to the price of the car. Hopefully $10K will be enough.

    In DC, the budget cans the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/13/presidents-budget-eliminates-funding-for-d-c-opportunity-scholarship-program/

    So, in effect, poor inner city kids in DC pay with their future so more people can drive an electric car.

    Have you no shame Mr President?

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      hey, dude, WAKE UP!!! the gas is going to RUN OUT VERY SOON! get it? so if we subsidize alternatives to petrol cars, that is a GOOD THING… did you think that the oil companies aren’t subsidized? In fact, the big oil guys had reaped government subsidies for DECADES… the fact is, ALL new technologies are subsidized in the very beginning: railroads (the golden spike), gasoline cars (interstate highways), aircraft (every fighter and bomber ever made), synthetic materials (aerospace)… and on and on… in fact, China has an OFFICIAL POLICY of subsidizing key industries, in order to wipe out western industries… which is why China now controls steel production and textile production.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        “The gas is going to run out very soon” is a 40-year-old lie.

        There is no evidence that oil is a ‘fossil fuel’; Saturn’s moon Titan has an atmosphere of methane and tar pits on the ground. Oil is likely a natural product of the earth.

        Depleting oil supplies would produce increasingly higher prices, yet prices are the same as in 1979 (in today’s dollars).

        And from what source would you propose we get all the electricity for this new world of EV’s?

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        “And from what source would you propose we get all the electricity for this new world of EV’s?”

        We can use that unending supply of oil to produce electricity.

        Most of that primordial carbon that you are talking about got locked up as limestone rock by the action of marine organisms.. apparently its too cold for biology to handle the excess carbon in Titan.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        @gslippy:
        “There is no evidence that oil is a ‘fossil fuel’; Saturn’s moon Titan has an atmosphere of methane and tar pits on the ground. Oil is likely a natural product of the earth.”

        Peer reviewed scientific sources please.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffhap1

        Excuse me Herm. But if we can use oil, to produce electricity, to power these electric cars. . . .you see where I’m going yet Herm?
        Just put it in the cars !
        I’m not sure what you and The Obamessiah plan to do when 1 million cars are plugged into a grid that can’t keep up now.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        Imagine… I can stop worrying about where my next dose of hydrocarbons is coming from. We have more than we’ll ever need on Titan!

        Now, let’s talk bulk freighter rates per kilometer from Saturn to Earth, shall we?

        Wherever fossil fuel comes from, it’s obviously not eternal, and doesn’t replenish itself fast enough to match current extraction rates. Over the past several years, we’ve been flatlined under 90 megabarrels of production per year, whatever the demand, whatever the price, despite technically being well under possible peak production.

        We THEORETICALLY have enough hydrocarbons left over to supply us till Armageddon, but sooner rather than later, the (energy) cost of extracting and refining those hydrocarbons will come too close to the energy we can extract from it, making it uneconomical to do so. Doesn’t make sense to refine and transport a barrel of oil to the end user if it costs another barrel of oil (to build rig, extract raw material, transport raw material to refinery/processing plant, to process, then to transport refined fuel to end user) to do it, now, does it?

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        “We THEORETICALLY have enough hydrocarbons left over to supply us till Armageddon, but sooner rather than later, the (energy) cost of extracting and refining those hydrocarbons will come too close to the energy we can extract from it, making it uneconomical to do so.”

        So how close is this ratio when applied to the Canadian tar sands? Seems fairly energy intensive. Just like ethanol.

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        “So how close is this ratio when applied to the Canadian tar sands? Seems fairly energy intensive. Just like ethanol.”

        Melting the tar out of the Tar Sands is energy intensive, it takes about burning a barrel of tar to produce two (in terms of actual energy its 90% efficient).. but on one hand you have 1000s of acres of useless tar sands and then it results in millions of barrels of tar that can be sold. EROI of corn ethanol is up to 2:1 at the best plants, it takes 1 gallon of diesel to make 21 gallons of ethanol, plus NG, sunlight and corn.. ethanol is a useful way to convert our domestic NG into a locally made liquid fuel, plus a way to keep farmers busy and productive.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Subsidy is one thing. But paying rich people back money for buying expensive cars doesn’t help cure the big problem of having less rich people drive around in gas-guzzlers.

      Targeted subsidies work. A targeted subsidy for a manufacturer working on building low cost gasoline alternative vehicles would be nice. A blanket subsidy that covers anything with the “electric” sticker… Hmmm… does this apply to electric LSVs? A $10,000 rebate would mean the government would be paying you back over sticker for buying golf-karts, right?

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I don’t mind subsidizing new technology.

        But I absolutely concede the point that the tax credit as it is set up is bass ackwards because it gives the biggest break to the affluent, making EVs cheaper for the rich and more expensive for the not-as-rich.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Total bullshit. Welfare for car buyers for high priced cars… I so wish income taxes were voluntary.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      A natural gas powered Civic is available in all 50 states for $26K to start. Put $10K on the hood and the drive out price is $16K. You’re now into moderately equipped B-segment car territory now (think Fiesta, Sonic, Fit).

      It’s one example – but if this went through I would buy two NG Civics the day it was put into law. Yup, $20K in ‘guberment handouts – it would be almost buy one get one free!

      (this post is meant as sarcasm, I hate all the handouts – however if it extends to CNG vehicles the affordability factor makes more sense – and honestly, if this insanity went through, I would very likely buy his and her CNG Honda Civics and laugh to the bank with my $20K rebate checks.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a home CNG compressor. Honda sold off the company that makes the Phill unit but you can still buy them. I think they’re about $4K plus installation.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @Ronnie, I’m fortunate. There is a CNG station about a mile from my house. No need for a home hook up – although I suspect I will pay a premium buying commercial.

        You bring up a valid point for most about needing a home filling station.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        I live in one of those new “pop-up” neighborhoods where the developer bulldozes all the 100 year old tress and then plants twigs in their place, and all the houses look pretentious and exactly like every other house in the neighborhood, and my biggest problem is that I don’t have natural gas. the developer couldn’t be bothered. So even though I am open to the idea of CNG, I have no way to fuel at home, but I do have a way to fuel up an electric car, and I don’t need a 4k “Phil” unit to do it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Just food for thought.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    keep putting more money as incentive and people still will not buy EV’s The more they push, the less they’ll sell.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    This is useless, unless you pay at least that much in taxes. And since roughly 50% of we, the people, don’t pay any income taxes at all, that leaves out those 50%.

    So, again, this is aimed at the ‘well-to-do’. IOW the remaining 50% of we, the people, who DO pay income taxes, presuming that, in the case of the Volt for which this proposal is designed to help increase sales, those who can take advantage of this newly-minted rebate, if passed, will want to buy primarily a Volt, or in the last resort any other EV.

    Why not provide tax credits or rebates for anyone who buys any vehicle that returns at least 40mpg?

    • 0 avatar
      JCraig

      It would be a subsidy for those that don’t pay at least that much in taxes… So this definitely changes the focus of the rebate to middle class car shoppers.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Seems to me I read somewhere that people choosing to buy a Volt are not middle-class shoppers, which presumes that the buyers have enough disposable income left over after all bills are paid to buy a Volt, which obviously is the intended primary beneficiary of this legislation.

        I would much rather prefer to see legislation passed that gives this credit or rebate to anyone and everyone who buys a car that gets 40mpg or better, rather than just EVs, if the goal is reduction in fossil-fuel use.

        The overall mpg for a Volt is not 230 as was once touted. Far from it. In fact, on any equivalent long distance trip, like the one done recently by cars.com, the mpg for the Volt was not all that whoopee, when compared to, let’s say, the Cruze, the Civic, or the Corolla.

        And I’m leaving out the Elantra here because I recently helped buy a new one for my grand daughter, and it is very frugal, even loaded with four young girls on a 150-mile daily roundtrip to/from college.

        I would be surprised if this legislation passes. I’m not the only one who can see through this scam.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        highdesertcat,

        The goal is not to reduce fossil fuel consumption. It is to shift the technology. Thus, a rebate for 40 mpg cars doesn’t satisfy the goal.

    • 0 avatar

      Part of the proposal is to change it to a rebate available to all consumers.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, I hope that passes, to everyone, I mean. But it should include ICE vehicles that return 40mpg or better.

        After all, isn’t reduced dependency on fossil fuels the goal of Obama and this green-weenie-run administration?

      • 0 avatar
        DrSandman

        It’s a REFUNDABLE tax credit, which means that even if you are part of the 47.9% of the deadbeats that pay no federal income tax, you would still get it back at the end of the next tax filing season — even if your total tax bill was $0.00 before.

        All this does is move the repayment from the following tax year (when the rest of you get refunds) to the point of purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      This has nothing to do with encouraging higher mpg vehicles, but everything to do with killing, albeit slowly, the internal combustion engine while force feeding us cars we don’t want. In the first stages, it starts with incentives/honey, or in this case tax rebates. If this is not working, the Obama government will start with other measures, such as free government insurance if you have an electric vehicle, expensive if you drive a gas one ( fuel too dangerous, it can blow up). Lastly if people still don’t comply, the government will take punitive measures such as extra taxes on gas vehicles, extra corporate taxes on companies that still produce gas/diesel vehicles, EPA running wild making laws to chocke off the gas/diesel cars, and others. Of course all these measures will be subsidized by the tax payers. Seems far fetched? Nothing surprises me since “mandatory healthcare” was jammed down our throats without full Congress approval.
      When the communists came to power in Eastern Europe after WW2, they didn’t forecefuly nationalized private industry, seized people’s land and property. They passed laws that made it extremely expensive to own land, or a factory or any private enterprise. Now, non payment of the tax was criminal. What happened you ask? People begged the government to take their property off their hands since they can no longer afford it, or want to go to jail. Gov’t obliged and “saved” the people by taking their property off their hands. Now, that’s change you can believe in!!!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wait a minute, I can buy a base price $26.5K Honda Civic Natural Gas and get a $10,000 REBATE from the ‘guberment for buying one???

    SIGN ME UP, every option please.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Doesn’t matter, this budget isn’t going anywhere, each side will tear it apart for political points.

    Sometimes I wonder if the government is aware of a timeline showing a depletion of oil in the not so distant future. I would like to think there is a serious need for this kind of thing, instead of it all being pointless politics. We wake up one day to news that the oil has run out, and think “Gee, it’s a good thing we don’t use that stuff anymore.”

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      Peak oil, blah,blah,blah….

      Congratulations, you have been fully indoctrinated.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        You missed my point. It’s safe to say no one on TTAC is qualified to definitively end the debate on oil reserves. I was simply indulging in some wishful thinking, hoping there was a grand plan behind all of this.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      There are stopgaps on the way to total oil depletion. The biggest one is coal liquification: we can synthesize gasoline (or any of an array of traditionally petroleum-based fuels) out of coal, and we have quite a lot of coal within the United States. It’s not cost-effective yet, but at a certain pre-tax gasoline price it will be (I seem to remember hearing $8/gal somewhere but I don’t have a source for that so take it as you will) and that will cause fuel prices to plateau for a while. When the coal starts running low, there are still more expensive ways to synthesize gasoline, and I fully expect that’s what we’ll do unless there’s a massive breakthrough in battery technology. The infrastructure is just too entrenched.

      Of course, there’s demand for coal in electricity production, and that’s showing no signs of falling off. We could start phasing coal-fired plants out in favor of thorium reactors, to save coal for auto fuel, but I guess that belching waste products directly into the atmosphere is more palatable to the voting public than stashing them under a mountain.

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        Its cost effective at oil around $40-$50 a barrel, but it needs an expensive brand new refinery to do it ($$Billions). The plants are starting to spring up all over the world. Expect to see lots of them running on shale gas soon.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Market research shows that Chevy Volt buyers are among GM’s wealthiest customers, earning about $170,000 a year.”

    What’s that have to do with the price of tea in China? Big picture is to get the US energy dependent. Now lets tax gas to reflect what it really costs the US and then we can use that money to pay for rebates.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      For GM, plenty, because its passenger cars have had trouble attracting wealthier buyers.

      I remember reading, a few years ago, that among the domestics and Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, GM buyers had the lowest education and income levels. Those buyers tend to be more sensitive to economic downturns.

  • avatar
    Angainor

    My proposed budget gives these cars away for free. My budget has about as much chance as Obama’s of getting passed.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    A typical politicians answer to any problem. Let’s throw more money at it.

    There are much better ways to spend that money. Better yet, let’s simply not spend it at all…

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Obama really hasn’t a clue.

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    Neither natural gas nor electric cars have the same broad supporting infrastructure in place as we have for gasoline.
    Heck, I even hear people FUD up passenger car diesels saying they don’t know where diesel pumps may exist, and they don’t want to have to worry about trying to find one in a pinch.
    Granted, here in Texas, where pickups rule and diesel pickups are kings, every country bumpkin knows that finding a diesel pump is trivial. Maybe it’s different in other parts of the US.

    So we need the infrastructure to refill/recharge vehicles with something other than good old gasoline.

    Exxon and Shell and your local electric utility are not likely to deploy this infrastructure before there are enough local consumers to make it worth their while.

    Consumers are hesitant to hop on an alternate fuel wagon if they can’t refill/recharge.

    So our gubmint will incentivize the purchase of alternate fuel vehicles. Early adopters will probably need to install home refill/recharge systems for a few thousand, but the hope is that these incentives will help get enough alternate fuel vehicles out in public to justify infrastructure investment.

    The big gamble is whether electrified vehicles are the future.
    If we are betting wrong, then this is all just the wasted money that so many people claim.
    If it turns out that we are betting correctly, the US could be positioned extremely well in the automotive industry for the next 20 or 30 years.

    This is a generational investment. Those with money to buy Volts and Leafs (and Civic GXs just to be unprejudiced) will be the immediate beneficiaries, but if it works out right, this can put our whole country at an advantage over other countries in this industry.

    Should we not invest in the future? Even with things that have lead times in years or decades?

    EVIL SPIN: If you are against these subsidies, you hate America’s future.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      When I was stationed in Europe during the seventies, I briefly owned a CNG-fueled Opel that could also run on gasoline by flipping a manual brass valve under the hood. A four-banger ICE with a manual tranny that got much better mileage on a tank of gasoline than the CNG.

      The difference at that time was the cost of gas per liter versus the cost of CNG per ounce/pound/kilo. The difference was huge. I filled up a lot more when using CNG and I ended up giving the car to a Belgian couple who needed wheels badly but didn’t have the upfront money to buy something, not even a Bug or 2CV.

      I think CNG-fueled ICE vehicles have a future in America except that the fueling infrastructure does not exist. Besides, most Americans are too insecure about fueling a CNG tank on a car or truck. That’s why attendants still do it at places where CNG and LPG are currently sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        Better MPG when fueled by gasoline is due to the engine being optimized for gasoline, also CNG is not a liquid so it is next to impossible to compare. I think dual fuel are a great idea, expect to see lots of pickups set up for that in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      >>EVIL SPIN: If you are against these subsidies, you hate America’s future.<<

      There is some truth to the cliches…
      Most on the left often think those on the right are evil.
      Most on the right think those on the left are nuts.

      As a righty, my more subtle take: most leftist are economically illiterate. Which is a subset of nuts, I guess…

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      There are all kinds of advantages in moving all the belt powered stuff in a car to electricity. This is the major reason why GM (and the American car industry) needs the Volt. Electrified mobility is just the incentive.

  • avatar
    replica

    When the market thinks hybrids are a necessity, they will buy them in overwhelming amounts. Why does the government need to be involved?

    • 0 avatar
      benzaholic

      Many of us claim to want a diesel wagon with a decent manual transmission.

      If suddenly the American consumers woke up and realized how smart such a vehicle would be, they still couldn’t just go down to their local dealer and buy one (VW excepted). Manufacturers would need lead time to federally qualify the engines, train the dealership service departments, stock the parts, etc. And that’s with vehicles and drivetrains that already are manufactured and sold in other countries.

      So just because the market were to wake up one day and decide they wanted hybrids, the lead times of the automotive industry would say they have no choices, unless someone, somehow, somewhere, could help nudge the market along.

      • 0 avatar
        boltar

        Thanks for the memory jolt, benzaholic. In 1973-74 after the US had depleted its reserves to the point that it lost status as world swing producer, when the oil embargo drove prices to then-unheard prices, customers lined up for small fuel-efficient cars. And bitched eternally about those horrible American car companies only making fuel hogs. These were largely the same people who months earlier were snapping up the American fuel hogs and wouldn’t touch a small car with a ten-foot pole. The associated shocks brought Asian manufacturers in with a vengeance and nearly killed the American car industry, which suffered the consequences for decades.

        Want a domestic heavy industry like car manufacturing? Guess what, fuel is an import-dominated substance with grave implications for world politics and American strategic interests. If you want to compete the same government we expect to maintain and protect supply lines for fuel should also shelter the domestic industry from fuel cost fluctuations too fast for industry to respond to. And use any and all possible methods to manage demand and transition to more defensible domestically controlled sources as quickly as possible.

        Bitch all you want about the free market and government interference with subsidies. If you expect the government to do your dirty work by maintaining access to oil in hostile parts of the world, and aren’t willing to live with the “free market” consequences of volatile foreign countries cutting you off (without military or other response from your government), then the Feds have a responsibility to look after the country’s future through such subsidy programs instead of only through risking American lives in threatened wars to protect the pretend world of “free market gasoline” that your pickup truck participates in.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        boltar- then why not lower the entry point of the gas guzzler tax, and end the exemptions for pickups and SUV’s. Penalize the abusers, and as someone said, offer a smaller credit for all 40+ MPG vehicles, paid for only with the GG tax proceeds.

      • 0 avatar
        replica

        Consumers WILL buy fuel efficent vehicles when the cost of gas crushes them. It appears that gas is still affordable for the consumer, given their choices in vehicles at the moment. When prices go beyond their comfort zone, consumers will go buy hybrids and EV’s. The market will correct its self. Stuffing tax dollars under a problem that doesn’t exist yet, won’t be successful because there isn’t a problem to solve. Government work at its finest.

        I’m not too worried about a manufacturer’s delay, companies want to make money, regardless how cars are powered. If the consumer wants it, the sellers will make it happen as fast as possible. Does the market need a nudge? A few comments here have shown people buying EV’s and hybrids are financially well off anyway so it only benefits a small amount of the population anyway.

        @ Boltar

        This “War for Oil” idea is a bit silly to me. Wouldn’t just BUYING the oil be cheaper than the war that was used to “get it?” I don’t remember gas getting any cheaper during our time in Iraq. I wonder if the “War for Oil” comment will still be used even though we aren’t in Iraq anymore. Sort of like the “Blame Bush” statement looses a little more steam each day.

        @ kvndoom

        The “abusers” already pay for their own gas at the pump. If someone wants to drive a 3mpg truck, they pay to full their own tanks as it is. They pay for exactly what they consume. Why does that need to be changed? When someone gets tired of spending $100+ to fill up their truck, they’ll move on to something else. Or not, and pay a ton for gas. Regardless, its their money.

      • 0 avatar
        charly

        Supply and demand.

        A 3 mile a gallon car doesn’t only cost the driver of that car money but also the other users of oil as more demand leads to higher prices

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Confused here; FY12 started last October 1. They must mean the budget submitted in 2012 that (if actually passed) would take effect on October 1, 2012, the beginning of FY13.

    Rebate is still too low by half to be of interest to me. It should be a useful tool to get lower-income people to buy. They can show it as putting half the price of the car as a down payment, finance the balance, and if they never plug it in once the administration won’t care – they’ve put more EVs on the road and they’ll call it a successful strategy to increase their acceptance..

    • 0 avatar
      racebeer

      You are correct …. the recent budget document is actually for FY2013. And for a few more interesting tidbits:

      • The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.
      • Since that date, the federal government has spent $9.4 trillion, adding $4.1 trillion in debt [annual interest payments on the debt now exceed $200 billion].
      • As of January 20, the outstanding public debt stands at $15,240,174,635,409.
      • Interest payments on the debt are now more than $200 billion per year.
      • President Obama proposed a FY2012 budget last year, and the Senate voted it down 97–0. (And that budget was no prize—according to the Congressional Budget Office, that proposal never had an annual deficit of less than $748 billion, would double the national debt in 10 years and would see annual interest payments approach $1 trillion per year.)
      • The Senate rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) budget by 57–40 in May 2011, with no Democrats voting for it.
      • In FY2011, Washington spent $3.6 trillion. Compare that to the last time the budget was balanced in 2001, when Washington spent $1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion when you adjust for inflation).

      Just sayin’ …………

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry about the mistake. One of the sources said FY2012.

    • 0 avatar
      protomech

      Good catch.

      Here’s the FY 2013 budget:

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/budget.pdf

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    This will be a very lop-sided subsidy. But it will be a MASSIVE boost for the Chevy Volt.

    As these rebates will be based on battery size where it maximizes out at 16 Kwh (exact size of the Volt’s battery; legislation was passed after GM announced their battery size in 2007), it means that with this rebate the Volt will cost nearly identical to the PHEV Prius.

    By this proposal, the $41k Volt will get a $10k on the hood on behalf of the government because it gets 16 Kwh. Final price of the Volt will be $31k. The $32k Prius PHEV currently will gets a mere ~$2k due to its 4.4kwh battery, will see a marginal boost of around $600 based on this proposal. The Nissan Leaf, with a battery that is 50% larger than the Volt’s at 24Kwh, gets no additional benefit over the Volt.

    The final price of the Volt will be $31k compared to a little less than $30k the PHEV Prius will be after their respective rebates. For all intensive purposes the PHEV Prius and Volt will cost nearly identical after government rebates.

    If the goal is to move people from gasoline to cleaner EV driving, it would have been much more effective to increase subsidies on larger EVs like the leaf where there is more range and gasoline would not be used.

    A more useful approach would be to base the rebates on “eMPGs”. The government went through a lot of hoopla creating that metric that is suppose to best represent the real-world efficiency of PHEVs and EVs, it would be best to use it to base rebate amount on so that manufacturers would work hard to improving a PHEV/EVs efficiently.

    • 0 avatar
      Herm

      A loaded PHEV Prius is more expensive than a stripped Volt.. but imagine a Mitsubishi iMiev electric, its under $30k now.. so it will be under $20k with the rebate plus the various incentives the states give for electrics.. some as high as $6k. The iMiev is very small kei class car with a 16kWh pack, perfect for crowded cities and parking lots.

  • avatar
    boltar

    Technology shifts are notoriously painful and costly for everyone because of the chicken-and-egg problem with users and infrastructure. Gasoline vehicles and petroleum have received an incredible number and volume of federal subsidies over the years but no one complains about a subsidized interstate system (for “defense” no less, wink wink) which put railroads out of business and ended most trolley transit systems.

    The transition will be far faster and less painless to the rest of us if a few bleeding edge types can be enticed to put up with uncertain limited range issues and the hassle of searching for few and far-between fueling stations. Better them than me. Speeding put this transition will more reduce the amounts of fuel required for import faster and cheaper than just about any program that’s possible. The other possibility would be slapping a $3-4 per galon tax on gasoline. This subsidy is a huge win especially for those who don’t actually participate.

    Frankly it’s about #%^*+ time.

  • avatar
    Franz K

    Don’t ya just love this Give Away the USA mentality ?

    First we ( tax payers ) bail them out ( GM/Chrysler ) and/or pay for their existence ( TESLA/Fisker )

    Then they , in four years or less manage to lose some $23.77 Billion of our money

    And now we’re supposed to Up the Ante on subsidizing the sales of cars ( E/V’s ) that in truth No One Wants .

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      Obama would argue that you’re not ingelligent enough to realize how GOOD of an idea electric cars are and some right wing market conspiracy perpetrated by Fox News killed the Volt, the TESLA, and Fisker.

      In reality we all want to drive golf carts to the local organic food store where we distribute communist literature, we’re just too stupid to see it.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I generally agree, but I actually do want an EV. So many of my drives are too short for my ICE to fully warm up, an EV would be perfect.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Spend spend spend.

    Are these the “green jobs” we keep hearing about?

    No one is buying electric cars, and the federal government blowing more and more money isn’t going to change that.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      “No one is buying electric cars, and the federal government blowing more and more money isn’t going to change that.”

      Let’s keep this in mind as the politicians are teasing Iran with war. War has a huge cost too. They’ll tell us it is all about Iran’s nuke but it’ll really be about regional politics.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    US energy independence blah blah blah blah. Today about 42% of our oil is pumped domestically, another 58% comes from foreign sources. That is down 2% from 2007.

    Canada is our largest trade partner for oil, we get

    Canada is now our number one trade partner for importing oil. We get about 25.5% of our imported oil from the great white north.

    Mexico is now our number two trade partner (surprise). We get about 11.4% of our imported oil from the land of tacos.

    A whopping 65% of us oil consumed now comes from the NAFTA zone, domestic, Canada or Mexico.

    So that leaves 35%.

    The next country we import from is Saudi Arabia – about 11%, and declining.

    Venezuela is next, about 10.1% and then Nigeria about 8.4%.

    The rest comes from Columbia, Iraq (about 5.5% – so much for it being all about the oil), Ecuador, Angola, Russia, Brazil, Algeria, Kuwait, Chad and Oman.

    The largest export from the United States is refined fuel products (surprise) gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. As a matter of fact, in 2011, we became a net exporter of refined products for the first time in 60 years.

    The reality is OPEC doesn’t wield the power that it use to over our markets, and although having 58% of oil imported, the reality is only 11% of our total imports come from countries where they hate our guts (Venezuela and Saudi Arabia) and the stereotypical wails of oil dependency scream from.

    Our energy picture is actually getting brighter in part to improved efficiencies and an overall reduction in energy use. Price increases are largely because other nations are consuming at a faster pace what we are cutting back on.

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    Ronnie,

    Politics aside, can you find out what this budget will do for electric motorcycles? The 10% tax credit that previously applied has expired as of Jan 1, 2012.

    • 0 avatar

      The pdf isn’t big on specifics. It doesn’t even mention the increase in the subsidy, referring to the existing $7,500 level. I searched the document for “motorcycle” and nothing came up. You’d probably have to ask the White House for clarification.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    For a $10k rebate I would definitely buy one… probably a Leaf, maybe a CNG Honda, most likely not a Volt. But $10k off is more than enough to make it worthwhile. Someone is gonna get the money, may as well be me…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    It’s an election year and Obama needs those UAW voters to come out. More giveaways to people to buy $30k cars.

    Excellent public policy, Mr. President. When doing this, it’s impossible to take Obama (or any of his apologists) seriously.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Is this per AUTO or per VEHICLE? I’d love a free motorcycle…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The hits just keep on comin . . .

    When that conservative rag, The Washington Post, slams this “budget” as not serious, you know its over-ripe cheese.

    At the top of the thread, some excellent questions, like what else could the government do with $10,000 handouts (other than, of course, not spend it and reduce the deficit that our kids will have to deal with)?

    Ought to boycott these ridiculous failed engineering school science projects . . . or buy a Prius plug-in, if that’s your inclination.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    This is the administration’s proposed budget, i.e. a starting point for negotiations with a Republican-dominated House and a completely dysfunctional Senate. The administration hiking the subsidy is their way of saying that they want the subsidy to stay as it is rather than get removed entirely.

    Seriously, it’s like nobody here has ever thrown out a lowball offer for a used car.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Penalize the abusers, and as someone said, offer a smaller credit for all 40+ MPG vehicles, paid for only with the GG tax proceeds.”

    That’s fine except that we also have to punish the abusers that live life styles which require them to live their life in their cars. So I’d like to see a tax based on how many miles are drven a year. The more you drive, the more you pay.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      So I live in the “Chicago Area”.

      I commute 60-70 miles RT/day.

      I’m all for your proposal as long as we “punish” the people who made urban property more expensive than rural property.

      A lot of us can’t afford to live where we work. a 2 br condo 2 blocks from work was $3k/month to RENT last time I checked. My house which has 3x the square footage is only 1/3 the price.

      I did rent 2 miles from work in a somewhat bad area for a while to try to be close to work but when my wife was accosted by drunks & bothered by people on drugs we moved.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      That’s known as the gas tax. The more you drive, the more you pay.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      While you’re punishing people whose lifestyle you disapprove of, be sure to include anybody who has ever needed to call a plumber, hire a gardener, have cable installed, get their house painted, have a package delivered, get their carpets cleaned, or have a mattress hauled away.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    My buddy lives in the Chicago Suburbs and works downtown. Guess what he does? Ever heard of mass transit?

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      The first bus anywhere near me is 6:15am. My shift starts as early as 6am depending on circumstances. Simply doesn’t work.

      I am also part of an on-call rotation every 2nd week where I need to be able to come in 24/7 on short notice. I don’t think Chicago has ANY 24/7 trains outside of the red-line, although that may have changed. In any case, I’m pretty sure Metra doesn’t have a reasonable schedule 24/7 to the suburbs…..

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        Last time I worked a job with a schedule that allowed public transit, it was fabulous. I’d walk out the door in the morning, the bus stop was literally directly in front of my apartment, and then again directly in front of where I worked. Of course, that line stopped running at 4:30, half an hour before I got off work. To get HOME, I had to walk almost a mile to an onramp on the other side of the freeway, to catch a bus that took me about 4 miles south. Then I had the option of waiting another 40-45 minutes for another bus, or walking about 2 miles home. Each option got me home about the same time, so I tended to walk when the weather was nice and wait when it wasn’t.

        Wanna guess how long I stuck with “public transit”?

  • avatar
    mzr

    Please don’t buy any CNG vehicles. Those of us that live in shale plays are tired of the land grabs, excessive water use and pollution. Natural gas isn’t a clean nor abundant fuel.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    If this passes…I’m getting a NGV Civic…not only will I pocket 10k, but I’ll get to drive in the fast lane until 2015 here in CA…I like driving cheap beaters…but that offer is just too damn good to pass up.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    So Volt buyers make $170K or so and will get a $10K subsidy. The same ‘budget’ cancels the $8K school voucher program in DC. Its for the children, right?

  • avatar
    Steven02

    The average income of a Leaf owner is $140k.

    http://nissan-leaf.net/2011/07/18/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-the-nissan-leaf/

    Not exactly scraping bottom.

    But, the current owners of Leaf’s and Volt’s should be the most upset. They are about to take a $2500 cut on depreciation.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If I got a $10k income tax rebate, I wouldn’t be paying any taxes at all, and for more than one year. Sign me up for a Leaf.

    Is that what Obama means by everybody paying their ‘fair share’?

  • avatar
    jmatt

    No amount of welfare will save the UAW. Or “the green economy”.

    This bad joke can’t come to an end fast enough. Say goodbye to The Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India