Print 110 comment(s) - last by xti.. on Oct 10 at 2:42 PM

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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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.

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