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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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RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By winterspan on 10/5/2008 10:20:53 PM , Rating: 3
What the hell are you talking about? This is an excellent thing and should be expanded to include traditional hybrid vehicles as well. Federal investment in green technology, and yes that includes tax breaks on hybrid vehicles, is absolutely essential to transition this country off of foreign oil and onto renewable energy. So far, the total investment in renewable energy production has hardly been a drop in the bucket compared to every other developed country, and this being the country that uses almost 25% of the world's foreign oil. It's pathetic and it needs to change, and the ignorant "less taxes no government" crowd life yourself is certainly not helping anything.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2008 11:45:57 PM , Rating: 4
There is this thing called an opinion, and last I checked we're all entitled to one. So, drop the "ignorant" remarks unless you want to look that way yourself. Less taxes and less government (not no government, duh) was one of the major opinions that lead to this country even existing, so show some respect.

My issue is that this tax rebate is going to a car that will likely end up costing well over $40,000 and doesn't quite frankly make any economic sense at that price range. It also prices it out of the range of most of the market. A large percent of the tax dollars in this country come from people who will be unable to afford this car. This is the problem. Why don't we have a $7,500 tax rebate for ALL cars that exceed the CAFE standards by 10 MPG or something. That means 37.5 mpg avg or better. Not that many cars meet that but the price range is far greater than a single car at $40,000. Now, you have viable options for most of the market which means the rebate is at least fairly available. This would also help more than just one US manufacturer sell cars. Worse, this bill gives incentives to a particular technology, not efficiency in general. So, what if someone makes some great technology that gives the same performance as the Volt's 16kW battery but with a much smaller battery? Too bad, no tax credit for you. What about a much more efficient gas or natural gas engine? Nope, no 16kW battery.

The idea of the government encouraging market innovations isn't something I reject on principle, but in this case they did a crappy job. As a result, companies are going to change their direction to get this tax credit regardless of it being the best way to make an energy efficient car. And, given the gas prices and recession, there is a lot of incentive to buy better performing cars already...


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Guttersnipe on 10/6/2008 1:13:58 AM , Rating: 1
yea part of it doesnt sit right with me. essentially well off yuppies are going to have their purchases subsidized by everyone. on the other hand at least its american:P


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By dubldwn on 10/6/2008 2:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
To add to your point, even if they are going to do the tax credit, this comes across as premature. GM will be lucky to make 100,000 of these through the first two model years – all of which will be sold anyway, so why is this even necessary right now? PR? They should wait a couple years to catch all the people who really need the credit to be able to get in on it.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Spuke on 10/6/2008 12:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Production will be limited to 10,000 units per year.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By theapparition on 10/6/2008 8:36:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
So, what if someone makes some great technology that gives the same performance as the Volt's 16kW battery but with a much smaller battery? Too bad, no tax credit for you. What about a much more efficient gas or natural gas engine? Nope, no 16kW battery.

Congradulations on missing the entire point of the credit. To address you're points:
1. Smaller batteries would still be eligible for a tax break, starting at $4100, and increasing up to a maximum of $7500.
2. More efficient gas engines don't reduce DEPENDANCE on foreign oil. A plug-in with a 40 mile range could potentially never use a single drop of gas in it's lifetime.

Prius isn't eligible since it's not a plug in, however, if Toyota marketed one, it would immediately be eligible for that $4100+ tax credit too.

FYI, I'm not a big fan of tax credits.....but I also saw no one screaming when the Prius and Insite got a tax credit. Now that those credits have exprired, and they want to give a credit to new technologies, the Japco fanboi's want to cry. Cry me a river, because it's done.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By piroroadkill on 10/6/2008 8:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
Address you are points?


By theapparition on 10/6/2008 11:14:07 AM , Rating: 2
Typical Daily Tech reader reply.

Apparently, when you can't refute the content, the intent is to discredit the post by pointing out spelling or gramatical mistakes.

Replies like that just make you look small.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
Problem he has probably is the word "performance" and different interpretations of it.

Also suggested is an idea that this particular tax advantage is singular and will not, no, can not be changed or added to in any way forever should some other technology come by. I think this idea is faulty.

This law does not have to fully encompass all possible things that might be tax enhanced. Additional laws are possible, there isn't a shortage of them. More can be added if a technology coming along is suitable for whatever reasons they're done. Not like something completely different will just show up next week in auto lots having been developed in complete secrecy before actual delivery.

I wonder if Toyota complained about the tax credits that helped their sales.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2008 9:18:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
A large percent of the tax dollars in this country come from people who will be unable to afford this car.


How do you figure this when the top 10% of earners in this country pay 70% of the personal income taxes. And the top 1% paid 40% of the taxes.

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/BudgetCh...


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By OrSin on 10/6/2008 9:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
First the Heritage Group is A republican think tank, so they present the data to make them look good. Now they dont lie, off center fact to make the rich look much better.

YEs the top 10% of earns bay 70% of the taxes. But what they dont show you is they make 92% of the money. SO no they are not paying thier fair share of taxes.

Also also most none of those people will be buying the volt or really need the tax credit. In case your wondering the top 10% of this country make over $180K a year in house hold income. They are not buying a volt when they can get a BMW. Sorry just not happening


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Spuke on 10/6/2008 1:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In case your wondering the top 10% of this country make over $180K a year in house hold income.
Not entirely correct. It depends on the age group counted in the statistics that the US Census Bureau collects. If we're talking 15 years old and over then the top 10% make $75k and over.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 10:07:57 AM , Rating: 2
1/3 of the country pays 97% of the taxes(that would be $60,000/yr and up which I fall into). It doesn't matter that they have the majority of the money.

We have another 1/3 that doesn't pay any taxes. Is that their fair share? Nothing? And they still got the "stimulus" check. And they're more likely to draw from Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and the other social entitlement programs than me(I'll in all likelihood never draw from any of them). But that's fair to you? That they should be able to suck money out of a system they pay nothing into?

The fact is one third of the country is paying practically all the income taxes while a lot of another third is using it all. And don't get me started on Social Security which is money that I'll never even see again but the media and Democrats trashed Bush when he suggested I be able to keep some of that money instead and put it in a private account for myself.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By omnicronx on 10/6/2008 10:17:02 AM , Rating: 2
What incentive would there be for car companies if the tax rebates were issued for existing gasoline cars? Or for that matter, what incentive would there be for the public to buy these newer technologies if the same tax rebates were available for a cheaper gasoline car. Your thinking is kind of one dimensional, sure in the short term it may not be economical, but in the long term it will lead to much more efficient cars, and it should eventually trickle down to the lower models like technology always does.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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