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China isn't as willing to jump on board the idea of Chevy Volt tax credits as the Bush and Obama administrations  (Source: AP Photo)

GM reportedly sold more cars in China last year than the U.S.  (Source: AP Photo)

The Chevy Volt launches in the U.S. November 2010, priced at $41,000 with $7,500 tax credit. It will launch in China next year, priced in excess of $40,000.  (Source: Jalopnik)
Volt will cost over $40k USD when it goes on sale in China later this year

The Obama and Bush administrations saved General Motors from bankruptcy, and now as the company prepares to partially denationalize, the government will help once again to reduce the price of its upcoming EV.  For every one of its 2011 Chevy Volt electric vehicles sold, the government will give qualifying buyers a $7,500 USD tax credit (this also applies to vehicles like the Nissan Leaf).  This helps GM and its competitors to offer a more competitive price (after tax credit) and makes the vehicles potentially profitable for the company.

Critics of the tax credit, rolled out under President Bush's leadership, will likely be even more infuriated with pending proposals to bump the tax credit to as high as $10,000 USD.

For all its fortune in the U.S., GM is finding resistance to its push for government assistance in China.  China, looking to support local EV efforts, has thus far rebuffed GM's urging to adopt a level tax credit for Chinese EV buyers.  GM, which reportedly sold more cars in China last year than the U.S., is currently deciding whether to scrap plans to build a series of EV charging stations in China's urban areas.

GM China VP David Chen complains,"China is the only country that has different subsidy policies [for electric vehicles based on origin].  The U.S. government provides US$7,500 for every electric car no matter where it comes from."

As a result, the Chevy Volt is anticipated to be priced at over $40,000 USD after any applicable tax credits when it launches later this year.  This will be drastically more expensive the domestic hybrids produced by Chinese rivals.

China, no stranger to market regulation itself, recently announced an ambitious plan spend 100 billion yuan ($14.7B USD) to fund its domestic automakers.

At the moment, any EV sold in the U.S. (regardless of the country of origin) can get full tax credits.  In China, though, U.S. EVs receive unequal treatment.  

Even Japan, which long blocked auto imports from the U.S., recently caved in and offered a whopping 3.24 million yen (roughly $38,000 USD) tax rebate for those who buy Tesla Roadster EVs.  The Roadster, a luxury competitor to the Volt, currently retails for 12.8 million yen (roughly $149,200 USD) in Japan.

IHS Automotive analyst to Green Car Advisor writes, "Although the government is looking to increase the numbers of such vehicles sold in the country, it is aiming to maintain the stranglehold of locally built vehicles, and this is unlikely to change."

China's EV dominance isn't merely limited to domestic assembly, though.  The growing giant also maintains a tight grip on around 95 percent of the world's rare earth metal production.  EVs and hybrid vehicles use much more rare earth metals then standard vehicles.  And it takes years to create active mines and processing facilities for rare earth metals.  Thus, to some extent, China will be able to dictate the price of EVs and hybrids internationally.

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And yet
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 12:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
The growing giant also maintains a tight grip on around 95 percent of the world's rare earth metal production.

We should switch from oil to batteries. Oil comes from all over the world and we have plenty here at home (which idiot liberals don't want us to use while crying that we import too much). Not so with lithium and other metals needed to make batteries.

So really this "get off foreign imports to be less dependent" is more of a who do we want to be dependent on. I don't think I've ever heard a liberal politician whining about oil use and pushing for electric cars say thing about expanding bio diesel production and switching to diesels. Wouldn't want us to be able to make our own fuel, and cheaply, so they can't cry about where it comes from or try to stop us from using it because its "killing the planet".

RE: And yet
By Spuke on 9/8/2010 12:48:35 PM , Rating: 1
So really this "get off foreign imports to be less dependent" is more of a who do we want to be dependent on.
That's just the latest fad and the politicians are simply echoing it. They have no interest in changing anything.

RE: And yet
By carniver on 9/8/2010 1:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
The rare earth metals are used to make the strong magnets used in the electric motors, not for making the batteries like everyone thinks. These rare metals are also used in many places, including hard disks.

The best thing about hybrids is their energy efficiency. It recaptures the kinetic energy lost for braking and puts it to good use. TDI on the other hand takes advantage of the higher energy content of diesel fuel; it may save you fuel costs in the short term, but it doesn't brake any differently--all kinetic energy goes directly to heat and brake dust. It generates just as much carbon dioxide, if not more. Since trucks and large vehicles must use diesel, having everyone jump onto the diesel bandwagon will only mean a price spike on diesel and everyone loses.

There's a difference between paying for energy, and paying for energy efficiency. Paying for the former is inevitable, but paying the the latter is insightful.

RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 2:54:00 PM , Rating: 1
Justify it however you want. The diesel does what I need and want. Goes a few hundred miles on a tank and fills back up in 5 minutes. I don't give a sh*t if the brakes don't contribute to the energy efficiency of the vehicle. That doesn't make it more viable of a transportation mode.

It also doesn't matter what part of the car the rare metals go to. The fact is you're substituting one rare resource for an even more rare resources. And ones controlled mainly by a single nation. We could have a largely self sufficient fuel system here in America. Instead we spend billions in tax payer dollars helping build China's economy. Because in the end, they're getting most of the money from the electric vehicle fad. The only reason battery makers are moving to Michigan is because they're being paid to. Once the unions drive their costs through the roof like they did with GM, and the government isn't keeping them there with incentives, they'll move out of the country.

RE: And yet
By goku on 9/8/2010 2:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not really aware of any "liberal" politicians who are against biofuels so I don't know where this rant comes from. I've seen plenty of "hippies" touting biofuels such as vegetable oil to power their vehicles. The reason people like electric cars is because they seem 100% clean and efficient when they're not thanks to the powerplant that is used to power them. I think a "dream" that can be realized in the near future would be a hybrid vehicle that can run off of biofuels.

RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 3:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Hippies yes. Liberal politicians, as I said in my original post, no.

RE: And yet
By ZachDontScare on 9/8/2010 3:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
biofuels arent big among a lot of 'liberals'. Dont you remember the big stink a few years ago about how food prices were rising as a result of corn being used for ethanol? I remember laughing at the 'tortilla' riots in mexico, and the self righteous indignation in the media about how it was all due to biofuels.

Ultimately, what I think a lot of leftists object to is people being able to drive around willy-nilly, whereever and whenever they want. So they will eventually find a reason to oppose ANY technology that isnt centrally planned transportation.

RE: And yet
By phantom505 on 9/8/2010 3:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well since I'm a lefty (politically) I'll say you are not since you don't know what you're talking about. The Ethanol vs Methanol debate goes back many many years, mostly along the lines of cornbelt vs grassbelt (neither of which are blue states predominantly), but I'll let you have your fantasy

Biofuel, specifically, bio diesel is HUGE with us.

And no, they don't care where you go, just think perhaps you should walk once in a while. Something corn fed "real Americans" like yourself just don't like to do.

RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 3:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
No we just don't live within walking distance of the store or work. And at least here in the South, we don't want to walk 30-45 minutes through 100 degree heat to get to the store and then go back.

We go for walks as a form of recreation. Not transportation. It works for you in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. It doesn't work when I'd have to walk in the street to get where I'm going.

And tell me one major liberal politician who advocates for bio-diesel. As my original post stated. Show me one major piece of legislation that has called for major increases in bio-diesel production. All the research money is going to electric cars, solar cells, and wind power. Ethanol is no longer at the top of politicians minds after the backlash it caused. Of course that doesn't stop certain groups from pushing for mandating E15 which will just ruin a lot more cars and other recreational and lawn care tools engines.

RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 3:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
Or show me where the EPA is easing emissions laws so that diesels are more easily able to be brought here without expensive emissions control systems beyond that what they use in Europe.

No its nothing but higher and higher standards.

RE: And yet
By Reclaimer77 on 9/8/2010 5:08:12 PM , Rating: 1
And no, they don't care where you go, just think perhaps you should walk once in a while.

Hey asshole, the humidity index was like 95% today along with 95+ degree heat. So no thanks, I drove.

Well since I'm a lefty

We got that from the arrogant condescending nature of your post. See the above quote for reference.

RE: And yet
By CowKing on 9/8/2010 5:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
We got that from the arrogant condescending nature of your post. See the above quote for reference.

Projecting much?

RE: And yet
By Reclaimer77 on 9/8/2010 5:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
And no, they don't care where you go, just think perhaps you should walk once in a while. Something corn fed "real Americans" like yourself just don't like to do.

CowKing you honestly don't see the dripping condescension and contempt in this? How does he know someone on the Internet, whom he doesn't personally know, doesn't walk in the first place?

Sorry but I fail to see how your deficiency of the English language should be called me "projecting".

RE: And yet
By CowKing on 9/8/2010 6:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
Condescension would be if he thought he was better than you. How do you know he thinks that he's better than you? Do you know him? Maybe he just wants people in general to walk more and he is just venting. By the way, when someone is "Projecting" they are denying their own characteristics putting it on others.

RE: And yet
By Reclaimer77 on 9/8/2010 6:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe he just wants people in general to walk more and he is just venting.

Ok so I'm projecting and you're speculating?

RE: And yet
By CowKing on 9/8/2010 8:25:31 PM , Rating: 2

RE: And yet
By YashBudini on 9/11/2010 1:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
Projecting much?

Does being Sarah Palin-esque describe it accurately?

RE: And yet
By Kurz on 9/9/2010 6:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason Bio Diesel and Biofuel is even considered for investment is because of Government Subsidies. Take those away boom you lost your competitive edge.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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