Tag: Incentives

By on November 30, 2021

Despite the semiconductor shortage having encouraged the automotive sector to repeatedly idle factories, word on the ground is that things are becoming more stable. Companies are seeing less production downtime overall and workers are reporting more reliable working conditions across the board. However, several automakers have continued to express concerns (e.g. Volvo), alleging that chip shortages could stretch deep into 2022, while the U.S. government ponders how to advance chip production in-country and become less dependent on Asian suppliers.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has been touring Michigan, meeting with union members and industry heads, and plans to urge Congress to move on a $52 billion in funding bill aimed at boosting domestic production. We’ve questioned the efficacy of the CHIPS Act before, primarily in relation to how the subsidies would be allocated. But there are new concerns that the plan will mimic the Biden administration’s EV subsidies by spending heaps of taxpayer money and giving union-backed organizations a larger cut.  (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2021

us-capitol, public domain

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t fond of the new electric-vehicle incentives being proposed by the United States Congress and recently stated as much over social media this week. He even went so far as to allege that the bill was lobbyists working on behalf of legacy automakers and the United Auto Workers, as it monetarily benefits domestic manufacturers with strong union ties above all others.

Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to respond to those claims with anything other than an affirmative nod. Due to his seemingly intentional manipulation of cryptocurrency and willingness to overpromise Tesla investors, I’m not the biggest fan of Musk. However, he’s getting support from other manufacturers and it’s pretty hard for your author to see any legislative scenario other than the one he’s supporting — especially since this is frequently how business is done on Capitol Hill.  (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2021

Texas lawmakers have presented Senate Bill 1728 as a way to nail electric vehicles for circumventing fuel taxes, sending everyone into a tizzy. Electrification has become about more than simply developing new powertrains under the auspices of environmentalism and it’s observable in this week’s headlines. But let’s discuss what SB 1728 hopes to achieve so that you might make up your own mind without this author’s forthcoming influence.

If passed, the bill would raise fees on EVs as a way to make up for the gas tax they’re not paying. The proposed legislation stipulates an annual fee of between $190 and $240, an additional fee of at least $150 for anyone who drives their car more than 9,000 miles a year, and then 10 bucks per year for the local charging advisory council. The rules would come into effect this September and raise an estimated $37.8 million for the State Highway Fund in 2022. While we cannot say whether that money will be used responsibly, the pretense is that the funds will be used to “[equalize funding for] road use consumption for alternatively fueled vehicles.” (Read More…)

By on April 8, 2021

The Biden administration expanded on its $174 billion proposal to boost electric vehicle sales on Thursday, suggesting that the United States government make it rain money on those purchasing EVs.

Technically a part of the $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which has been expanded to include jobs and numerous environmental projects, the proposal makes a lot of special exemptions for alternative energy vehicles backed by large financial commitments. $100 billion will be set aside for new consumer rebates, potentially opening up the door for manufacturers that have already exhausted their quota of federal tax credits linked to zero-emission cars.  (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2021

EV

Actor Will Farrell describes Norway’s EV leadership in one of the more amusing Super Bowl commercials, and how General Motors is looking to change all that here at home.

(Read More…)

By on August 18, 2020

2019 Nissan LEAF Plus - Image: Nissan

Want to wear your environmental activism on your sleeve? Park some of it in your driveway.

Gone are the days when driving an electric car required careful trip planning — and white-knuckled, pit-stained trips to the suburbs. Automakers have finally endowed their greenest rides with enough range to keep anxiety mostly at bay.

And, because there’s a pandemic (among other factors impacting electric vehicle sales), some of those same OEMs really want to move those cars off the lot. There’s deals to be had, greenies. (Read More…)

By on August 14, 2020

2020 Chevrolet Silverado logo badge

General Motors has conquest on the mind. As the Labor Day long weekend and all of its associated new car deals looms, the automaker wants to woo owners of Fiat Chrysler products (or their family members) into top-selling Chevrolet and GMC models.

It’s not a huge incentive, but it does call attention to the General’s renewed rivalry with Ram. Chevrolet in particular wants to widen the pickup sales lead it only just recaptured from its resurgent rival. (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2020

fca

Nations like Germany might treat internal combustion engines like a shirtless man lighting up a Marlboro in a neonatal intensive care unit, but some countries still feel that they have a place in the automotive landscape. Italy even plans to put public dollars behind their purchase.

When economies and industries are suffering, governments can sometimes do the unthinkable.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2020

Image: Ford

Your mileage will vary, automakers. As consumer confidence increases to some degree — a phenomenon partially dependent on what the novel coronavirus is doing in various regions — auto sales are expected to follow.

Forecasters now claim U.S. auto sales will see a marked uptick in June that pales next to the jump seen in May. (Read More…)

By on June 16, 2020

Image: GM

If you weren’t aware, the sprawling General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio is no longer cranking out Chevy Cruzes. No plant is. And there’s now a strange “Lordstown Motors” sign adorning the complex, with some sort of crazy promise about building electric pickups? Wild.

The state of Ohio certainly took notice, recalling the economic development agreement it signed with the plant’s former owner more than a decade ago. Those public perks were dependent on GM continuing operations at the plant until a point many years in the future. Fork it over, Ohio recently told GM. (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it painfully clear that Texas is his first choice when it comes to locations for a second U.S. vehicle assembly plant. The executive, disillusioned and annoyed with Silicon Valley and the general California experience, had somewhere in the central or southern U.S. on his mind when he started hunting for a new plant location.

A report out of Austin Monday suggests Tesla could be close to sealing a deal. (Read More…)

By on June 9, 2020

hyundai

In the midsize sedan war, the Hyundai Sonata is like Japanese forces in the Pacific — slowly  losing ground as powerful enemies amass an ever larger share of the territory. When faced with the name recognition and brand appeal of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, maintaining your position means throwing everything you have into the fight.

Into that battle came the radically restyled 2020 Hyundai Sonata, joined imminently by the Sonata Hybrid — a sedan that gets up to 52 mpg on the combined cycle. Hyundai has apparently decided that money talks, and that the new hybrid will ride into battle waving cash at local townfolk. (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2020

Image: Porsche AG

Germany isn’t fooling around anymore. Electric cars are going to become the norm, and that’s final.

After pledging last year to boost electric vehicle subsidies by 50 percent over the first half of the decade, Germany has doubled down on its EV efforts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re in the market for a gas-free car, expect the government to fill your pocket with cash. If you’re the buyer (or the maker) of a gas-guzzling SUV, look out. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2020

2018 Lexus RX 350

The new vehicle market has stopped marching. For three weeks in a row, sales in the U.S. plateaued, mirroring COVID-19 case levels in many locales. Try as they might, neither doctors nor dealers seem capable of eradicating all of the bad and returning the country to its coronavirus-free, spend-happy ways.

Things take time.

If you’re a purveyor of premium cars, however, things are looking up. If mainstream’s your bag, uncertainty reigns. And if you thought Memorial Day Weekend sales offers would stimulate the industry and kick-start a renewed sales climb, well, you were out of luck. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2020

Buick Grille Logo Emblem, Image: General Motors

Not sure about you, but these past few weeks has seen yours truly think more about remdesivir and potatoes (at alternating times) than the Buick brand. I’d put the ratio somewhere close to 99:1, though you could add an extra digit to that first number and probably still be bang-on.

Yes, it’s a brand that’s not top of mind, earning itself more headlines for ditching cars than for adding crossovers. And yet, when our lockdowns end the the virus is vanquished and the open road cries out its alluring siren song, cushy, long-legged cruising machines might be the first thing to cross your mind. It seems Buick has just the thing for you, but you’ll have to act fast — and search long and hard. (Read More…)

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