Two Michigan congressmen seek to expand tax rebate coverage of EVs, hybrids

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 31, 2011

The day after President Barack Obama reiterated that he is committed to have 1 million EVs on the road within four years, two Michigan congressmen said that they are seeking to expand the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles eligible for a federal tax rebate.

This proposal was submitted by U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., in the House. Meanwhile, his brother, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., intends to introduce a similar bill in the Senate that would raise the per-manufacturer cap on the $7,500 tax credit from 200,000 vehicles to 500,000.

The rebate started off as a part of the Recovery Act of February 2009. This rebate is currently offered on five vehicles -- the Chevrolet Volt, the Tesla Roadster, the Nissan Leaf, the CODA sedan and the Wheego LiFe. However, the offer ends as soon as a carmaker’s sales reach 200,000 units.

General Motors Co. has stated that this cap would hamper future sales of the Chevrolet Volt, which has a price tag of $41,000 (with delivery charges) before the credit. To jumpstart the demand for electric vehicles, the White House seeks to change the $7,500 tax incentive currently offered for purchasing an electric car into a rebate that consumers could use at the time of purchase.

In addition, President Obama has promised that research and development of batteries and electric drivetrain will be expanded. He also pledged a 30% increase in federal grants. [via autonews - sub. required]

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