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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 Ringold on 10/6/2008 3:25:07 AM , Rating: 5
.. the market, look what the market has done to you guys.

Okay, let me see what it's done for us, by comparing it to a place where capitalism dare not tread, say.. France.

GDP PPP: 40% higher
Unemployment: 1.1% points lower
Average Unemployment: ~5 to 6% points lower
Average home size: Hard time finding European data, but the difference appears to be huge. It's 2349sq-ft here, as of 2004.

Whats the downside? A cyclical economy where the average Joe actually notices what is going on, where as in Europe the government attempts to compensate with fiscal stimulus, huge unemployment benefits, and by simply replacing a large portion of the economy with government jobs.

It also appears that European banks and other institutions are starting to collapse at an even brisker pace then here! Europe is also regulated to death. What good has it done Europe? Higher unemployment when the times are good, and now that times are bad, even higher unemployment with almost none of the pain being spared. Even European economists seem to agree with those of us on this side of the pond; the European economy is going to be in worse shape and for longer than the US due to the flexibility of our markets (labor as well as capital). We hit a cyclical hard spot, and all the weaklings come flooding out of the woodwork with their doomsday talk, like they always do.

I'd prefer socialists be honest. Lets not pretend socialism/aversion to capitalism means all the upside with none of the downside. It means, in a best case scenario, where government is perfectly competent and happens to get most things right, smoothing out some of the pain while permanently lowering the long run rate of economic growth.

America isn't an outlier in the more-capitalism example, either. Ireland and Switzerland are hanging right up in there, and it sure wasn't socialist reform that started India and China's growth spurts.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2008 6:03:39 AM , Rating: 3
How many people are homeless

Many of our homeless choose to be. Because like in socialism, they have found they can survive by doing absolutely nothing. Some have turned panhandling into a career and own homes and drive nice cars.

have no health coverage

So I'm supposed to pay for it? In this country you have what you earn (or were born into unfortunately).

are incarserated

You do the crime, you do the time. No one forced people to commit crimes.

on minimal wages

That's what happens when you slack off in school. Again. No one's fault but their own.

How many homes now lay empty due to forclosure?

And it's my fault that someone who makes $2000 a month was stupid enough to buy a $300,000 home thinking it would work out? I'm sorry I guess I think people should use that thing called common sense and realize that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And that people should actually read their mortgage before signing it. Yes Fannie and Freddie allowed these loans to exist by buying them from banks almost guaranteed. But if people had exercised basic common sense to realize that the chance of rates staying insanely low over a 30 year span was almost 0% then this mess wouldn't exist. Yes the banks were wrong to take advantage of the situation, but they were pretty much forced to by the government, especially under Clinton with Janet Reno threatening to go after banks who didn't issue the loans. So no, I have no pity for people who lost their homes because they wanted to live in luxury when they couldn't afford it. Or people who bought homes as an investment and it turned out to be a bad one (that's part of investing. there's risk).

Yes some basic checks on the market will always be needed, but many of the financial failures in the past 100 years have been due to government intervention in the market. Not raw capitalism itself. This situation wouldn't have existed if the government hadn't created the sub-prime market itself in the 70s with the Community Housing Act. It's bad business to give loans to people who can't afford them which is why those people never got the loans before that to begin with.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By BansheeX on 10/6/2008 9:44:12 AM , Rating: 5
You think it was capitalism that failed the markets? We are in the late stages of socialism, fool. 50% of our GDP is controlled by the government. Labor and interest rates are centrally price fixed. We have a non-market determined money with a ban on competing currencies. Banks can loan out money they don't have at interest while any other industry would be jailed for doing the same. Politicians regularly distribute our tax money to one industry and not another via subsidies or tax credits. We bail people out and remove the fear of bankruptcy that would have otherwise existed to deter risk. We offer federal insurance on deposits via the FDIC, removing the fear of losing a deposit that would otherwise deter depositors from ever loaning money to highly leveraged investment banks. We pass legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act in the name of social progress, essentially declaring lending standards discriminatory and forcing banks to make loans to low income people. We force every American to pay into a forced "retirement plan" at 12% of wages which is really just an unsustainable ponzi scheme. We nationalize industry and finance it with forcibly appropriated money, so it is far more resistant to failing from bad policy. Fannie and Freddie were government companies and accomplished the opposite of their initial goal by the time they corrupted. We ban products via the FDA, some of it is anti-competitive and the result of lobbying. These are all idealist socialist powers that the private industry doesn't have, but has access to as long as they exist. That's the problem. Buy a clue already.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2008 10:16:46 AM , Rating: 3
*waves hand*

These aren't the facts you're looking for.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Fnoob on 10/6/2008 11:14:18 AM , Rating: 2

'What do you think you are, some kind of Jedi? Your tricks won't work on me, I'm a Paulsonian!"

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Villains on 10/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Reclaimer77 on 10/6/2008 1:42:13 PM , Rating: 5
Would you want to live in a world where you are only alloted just " what is needed " and nothing more ?

Oh wait... nevermind. You apparently already are.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Spuke on 10/6/2008 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 3
Average home size is 2349 sq-ft?
Actually, it's 2434 sq ft and that size home is mostly concentrated in the southeastern US. The northeast would be second. The farther west you go, the more expensive homes get so they are generally smaller (there are exceptions). Homes are cheap here compared to most of Europe so we get larger one's.

In the south, depending on the neighborhood, you can get a 2400 sq ft house for well under $150k. More than affordable to your average American family.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, that sized home would go for a LOT more than that here. Almost without regard to location. We're probably two to three times more expensive (making wild assumptions about location and the like) -- and we're dirt cheap compared to the SF Bay area in California. And our property taxes are high too (although there is no sales tax).

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
My wife and I get by in a 2850 sq ft home (could use more).

I don't complain about those things (other than taxes). It was built in 1996 when we moved in, so although not real new, the insulation (and such) are decent -- but the central air conditioner could have been much higher in efficiency (now), so that is a problem in the summer -- but like buying a new Chevy Volt a spendy thing to "fix".

But then I didn't just graduate from college -- I used to be in apartments, then my first home was a whopping 1250 sq feet where my wife and I used to live. And that house still exists and is part of the average. I think the 2349 may be the average of new-builds rather than existing homes. As land becomes more expensive (very much the case here in my metro area where land zoned for houses is fairly scarce) it becomes more advantageous for builders to build larger houses on the land they have available to them. Of course at the very moment, houses aren't selling well and the smaller ones probably would sell better if it weren't for those looking for "entry houses" probably not being in good positions to get loans (at the moment) with good size down payments (speaking generally in a statistical way).

Of course, all of those nasty ARM and other 'creative' loans that the banks are now in trouble for having made had some part in driving up prices and house sizes seeing as how people could get loans for homes bigger than they could afford.

RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 10:01:09 AM , Rating: 3
Who are you or the government to decide how much space I "need"? One of the biggest fake environmentalists out there, Al Gore, owns a 10,000 square foot home.

And what does the size of a home have to do with the rate? In some areas a 1000 square foot home costs as much as a 3000 square foot home in other areas. What matters is what you financed and how you financed it. It doesn't matter the size of the home.

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