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New Bill Would Increase Number Of Rebates For Electric Vehicles

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On: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Bill Would Increase Number Of Rebates For Electric Vehicles

One of the many traditions that follow the President’s annual State of the Union Address is for administration officials to hit the road in an attempt to bolster some of the plans and promises made in that speech. While the heavy hitters are doing the speechifying, members of Congress are left to sort it all out and “make it so.”

First out of the gate are a pair of Michigan brothers who just happen to work on the same side of the aisle, but in different houses. U.S. Representative Sander Levin and his bro Senator Carl Levin both put forth new legislation that would expand the per-manufacturer cap on a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. Right now the number of eligible cars is 200,000. The Levin boys want to kick that up to 500,000. This will certainly help deliver on President Obama’s pledge to put a million EVs on the road by 2015.

As written, that $7,500 tax credit was part of the Recovery Act of 2009. Yes, the infamous stimulus bill! The goal was to provide incentives for potential buyers of the Chevy Volt, Telsa Roadster, Nissan Leaf, CODA sedan, or the Wheego Life. You buy one of those EVs and you get the tax credit. But this was good only for the first 200,000 buyers. If the bill goes through, then 300,000 more buyers can line up for the incentive.

GM is all about the incentive. Their Chevy Volt goes for around $41,000 before the credit. Chevy would like nothing more than to give more buyers a reason for stopping by the dealerships. For its part, the White House is also thinking about tinkering with the tax credit by turning it into a rebate that can be applied directly to the purchase of the hybrid cars.

Naturally, with all these new electric vehicles heading our way, there is going to need to be more research and development for batteries, engines, and other forms of hybrid technology. “With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with bio-fuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015,” Obama said in his State of the Union Address.

The day after the big speech, Vice President Joe Biden stopped by Ener1 Inc., a lithium-ion battery manufacturer based in the suburbs of Indianapolis. Ener1 Inc. already locked down a $118.5 million grant from the stimulus bill intended to expand the production line. As a result, the company was able to add 120 workers to the payroll.


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