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Chevrolet Volt
Bush signs bill which grants the Volt a $7,500 tax credit

In mid-September, DailyTech brought you news that congress was working on a new round of tax credits targeted at plug-in electric/hybrid vehicles. The tax credits were projected to weigh in at $3,000 for plug-in vehicles with at least a 6 kWh battery and top out at $7,500.

Toyota, which sells its Prius featuring a 1.3 kWh battery pack, balked at the tax credits as its hybrids wouldn't even qualify for the entry-level tax credit. Toyota also was unhappy that the only vehicle in the near future likely to qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit is the Chevrolet Volt.

Despite its opposition, Toyota's fears became law last week when President Bush signed the legislation which passed in the House by a vote of 263 to 171 as a part of the massive $700 billion Wall Street bailout package. The entire 10-year tax package for plug-in electric/hybrid vehicles is worth $1 billion.

Requirements to qualify for the tax credit have changed slightly since its inception in the Senate. The 6 kWh battery minimum dropped down to 4 kWh, while the base tax credit rose from $3,000 to $4,168. The maximum credit remains at $7,500 for the Chevrolet Volt with its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The Chevrolet Volt gets its primary power from a 150 HP, 273 lb-ft electric motor. A 1.4 liter gasoline engine is also used to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack once the Volt's 40-mile battery range is depleted. According to GM, the Volt can save customers $1,500 per year in fuel costs based on a daily commute of 40 miles.

The $7,500 tax credit should go a long way towards making the Chevrolet Volt more affordable. Current estimates place the base price of the vehicle at $40,000 or higher.

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Even more government intervention into the economy.
By Ordr on 10/5/2008 9:45:08 PM , Rating: 4
Absolutely disgusting.

By Fnoob on 10/5/2008 9:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. Everyone should be getting their 'escape plan' in order.

By SiliconAddict on 10/6/2008 12:01:21 AM , Rating: 1
Please enlighten us where you plan on escaping too? The US has some of the lowest taxes in the damn world, and yet we complain the most. Lets ignore the fact that most other countries that do have high taxes don't have an infrastructure that is crumbling, and federal employees that get paid for dick.

I swear to god is it any wonder why us Americans get stereotyped as winy bitches? Is it also any wonder why Americans also are so heavily in debt up to their noses in credit debt? People are bitching about the bailout bill without even knowing enonomics 101. Namely if you are going to spend money it shouldn't be via credit, and that generally more money should be coming in then being taken out.
And yet many of my fellow Americans are screeching like 2 year olds' that "its not fair". Guess what asshats? Blame this debacle on Wall Street all you want. Its also your fault for buying houses, and goods well outside your means to pay them off. Right now I have a moderate mortgage, just under 3 grand on my CC from a new laptop that is slowly being widdled down, a mild car payment, a handful of utilities, all the while still smacking money into retirement in 30+ years and a rainly day fund.

People need to learn how to manage their finances and take economics 101.

By mikeyD95125 on 10/6/2008 12:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
Do you actually keep a balance on your credit card? Money down the toilet.

By puckalicious on 10/6/2008 9:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you don't understand that most people are forced to carry debt because there is no other alternative.

Go hungry or carry debt? Easy choice.

Go homeless or carry debt. Easy choice.

Stop taking needed prescriptions or carry debt. Easy choice.

Meanwhile today's CEO: Manage a company correctly and benefit many people, or take a $50 million golden parachute to benefit only you? EASY CHOICE.

By Entropy42 on 10/6/2008 10:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
He said that he was putting money into retirement and a rainy-day fund. That doesn't exactly equate to not being able to eat.

By glennpratt on 10/6/2008 11:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
Go hungry or carry debt? Easy choice.
Go homeless or carry debt. Easy choice.
Stop taking needed prescriptions or carry debt. Easy choice.

These aren't the only choices most working people are faced with. Here in Dallas, almost any job you can find will cover an apartment (especially if you live with a roommate), food and health care. You just might need to adjust your standard of living to what you actually earn.

I don't blame people for racking up debt, it's too easy in this day and age, but it's not the only option.

By sweetsauce on 10/6/2008 2:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
So people gambling on sub prime loans hoping they can flip the house for profit is bad, but banks gambling that these people will actually afford the loan is good and deserves a bailout? Please justify this reasoning for me. I guarantee you if the government decided to assume all these loans, set it at a decent flat rate, and let these people keep their homes we'd be better off. Instead we just screw the people, and reward the idiot lenders with free tax money. Socialized capitalism is the worst thing this country has ever done, yet i totally understand why they did it. In fact its a brilliant way to redistribute wealth. I'd argue this "crisis" was planned all along, sure seems that way.

Don't mind me, im just a "conspiracy nut" right? wink wink.

By Lord 666 on 10/6/2008 8:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
Along with the new restrictions on bankruptcy in 2005, ethanol importation tax, and restrictions on diesel emmissions?

You can quote me on this - I personally feel that Bush will be hailed a genius in 20 years after history shows us being in Iraq/Afghan and his actions prevented a massive depression. How did the US eventually get out of the Great Depression? WWII.

By Topweasel on 10/6/2008 3:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I also see a lot of Reagenism here. Right people a going to be angry that we are going through a depression, paying more for oil. But in 5-10 years I see an amazing bounce back coming its kinda of teetering on the blades edge but I see it happening. The Problem is I think this current hiccup could have been avoided in the 90's but I think Clinton was looking a short term numbers, highest growth lowest unemployment, lowest homeless. But helped create something almost completely not maintainable.

By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
That might be a good idea so long as those who bought it to flip aren't allowed to sell the house at a profit (should that ever happen) in order to get help with keeping it now.

By Ringold on 10/6/2008 2:55:43 AM , Rating: 4
The US has some of the lowest taxes in the damn world, and yet we complain the most.

Well, compared to Western Europe, true. Compared to pretty much everyone else though, they're pretty high. Compared to the OECD our corporate taxes are nearly the highest.

But it's also not Western Europe where ex-patriot American's flock to for work. I'd rather be unemployed than take work in France. It's places like Hong Kong, Dubai, and Eastern Europe with things like 15% flat rate taxes or FEZ's (Free Economic Zones) where taxes are close to zero.

I agree on all the rest, though. People leverage up on credit in their private lives, and now are shocked that when the bubble comes out of the engine of their credit (their homes) that the credit markets need bailing out? This is not a failure of capitalism; this is capitalism giving us what we deserve for our collective actions.

By omnicronx on 10/6/2008 8:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
This plan was proposed before the market crash... so what exactly is your point here? If bush officially announced this 6 weeks ago, it would have been considered a 'green initiative' and not government intervention into the economy.

And one more thing.. I think it is about time the US bailed out the auto industry a bit, especially with its hybrids. I am personally never going to buy a toyota and as long as the Japanese artificially keep their currency low. This is also the reason Toyota has no place whining about this, they can go suck on their cheap yen.

By Ordr on 10/6/2008 9:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
My point is that government intervention into the private sector has not only caused the economic disaster that we are in, but will continually prolong it. This segues into your next point regarding the auto industry.

Why should the government "bail out" any private industry that is obviously unable to compete in a global economy? In doing this, they are effectively negating one of the purest examples of non-coercive capitalistic democracy. Every dollar that a customer willingly spends on a product is a vote as to whether or not that product (and, ultimately, that company) succeeds or fails. The customers have spoken.

By omnicronx on 10/6/2008 10:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
I would like you to do a little research on how Japanese auto manufacturers are using your Free Market against you, and why non-coercive capitalistic democracy cannot exist unless the entire world follows suit.
A few facts:

* With a yen valued at 118 to the dollar, Japanese automakers enjoy an average windfall $4,000 cost advantage per vehicle more than they would if the yen traded at its true value. The overall subsidy Japanese automakers gain for the 2.2 million vehicles they import totaled $8.8 billion in 2006.

* The total yen subsidy provided to Japanese automakers in 2006 was $13.4 billion – $8.8 billion for car & truck exports to the U.S. and $ 4.6 billion for imported parts used in American-made Japanese cars.

* More than half (52%) of all automobiles manufactured in Japan were designated for export in 2006, exceeding 50% for the first time in 19 years. In fact, even as demand within Japan for new autos is declining, Japanese companies are adding production capacity to Japan-based facilities, reactivating assembly lines, adding workers and postponing planned factory closures as they move to export ever greater numbers of vehicles.
Now explain to me how American auto companies are suppose to compete when they are paying more to build these cars, not to mention the fact how cheap their labor is compared to the US. (not to mention the U.S unions but that's a different story)

Now tell me what is the financial situation in Japan is like compared to the U.S right now? They intervened far more than the US is going to do a few years back with their banks, and they help out other industries, yet they seem to be one of the most productive countries in the world right now.

By Ordr on 10/6/2008 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't using the Free Market against us. We don't have a free market. Our market is extremely regulated and one of the consequences is that, due to subsidies, these sub-par American auto companies didn't fail years ago. At the moment, the Japanese are destroying us in that particular sector. In many, many other sectors, we are by far the dominant economic force in the world.

By omnicronx on 10/6/2008 10:57:43 AM , Rating: 2
In many, many other sectors, we are by far the dominant economic force in the world.
Which in thanks to the latest crisis, is going to change. The U.S is never going to have the same amount of economic power again.

By Ordr on 10/6/2008 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
Please explain.

By 91TTZ on 10/6/2008 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Your post expressed little more than anti-US cheerleading.

By Spuke on 10/6/2008 5:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
The U.S is never going to have the same amount of economic power again.
You're going to have to explain this one. Also, please explain why the present economy is different than the failing economies of 2004, 2001, etc.

By Ordr on 10/6/2008 9:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
Something I missed:

How can you possibly say that the "green initiative" isn't government intervention into the economy? By increasingly taxing who they label as polluters and giving rebates to those who they label as "green", regardless of their accuracy in ascertaining these labels, this is one of the purest examples of governmental economic intervention.

By omnicronx on 10/6/2008 10:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, by no means am I saying that there is not government intervention here, obviously the government is infusing money using tax dollars. My point was now that the banks have screwed everyone, people are going to complain about any government intervention no matter if it is a good or bad thing for the public. The U.S is in need to get rid of at least some of their dependency of foreign oil, one of the many ways to do this is to give car manufacturers incentive to make these cars, and consumers incentive to buy them.

In the long run explain to me how this will hurt the economy? At the very least any small amount of backlash involved will be offset by reducing oil consumption. You can't just expect Car companies who are either already or almost in the red to take the entire load. That would result in companies going bankrupt, and a huge loss of American jobs. But then again, who cares, you are probably middle class and well off, things will work out for you regardless right? Good ol lessez fair..

By Ordr on 10/6/2008 11:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
Disregarding the last two sentences of your otherwise coherent reply, you seem to ignore the fact that these subsidies and interventions are payed for by ever-increasing taxation, that our problems with foreign oil are greatly increased due to the Draconian restrictions on domestic drilling and environmentalist knee-capping of new refineries being opened. These, specifically, are the roots of the problems that you mentioned. Preventing our country from using resources that are otherwise freely available is precisely one of the major contributing factors that is hurting our economy.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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