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Joe Biden was plugging upcoming EV initiatives on the road at an Indiana battery maker.  (Source: Darron Cummings Associated Press)
Biden hopes to add 300,000 more $7,500 credits

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to workers at a battery assembly plant in Greenfield, Indiana, plugged U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's (D-Michigan) plan to expand tax credits for EV buyers and make them immediate.

Under the new proposal the cap on the number of credits per electric vehicle manufacturer would be bumped from 200,000 to 500,000.  Additionally, people would receive the credit as a direct discount, rather than having to wait to get the money back when they filed their yearly tax return.

The Vice President describes, "Just like the Cash for Clunkers program. You won't have to wait."

The measure is backed by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- an alliance between Detroit's Big Three, Toyota Motor Corp. and eight others.  In a comment to The Detroit News, they state, "[The government] can play a critical role in developing the electric infrastructure, supporting R&D for advanced batteries and providing consumer incentives."

Along with those tax incentives to buyers, Vice President Biden was also promoting the Obama administration's budget, which will be submitted to Congress next week.  That budget contains $8B USD for investing in advanced energy technology, including electric vehicles.  Over the last couple years the Vice President has been a big proponent of investment in battery systems and electrified vehicles.

Of that, $590M USD will be applied directly to vehicle research.  That includes $200M USD to help up to 30 communities expand their electric vehicle infrastructure, by adding support for chargers, etc.

Biden's visit follows one by President Obama to green small businesses in Wisconsin, plugging alternative energy research.

The Obama administration's budget will like meet with opposition at the Republican-controlled house, but the Vice President was optimistic, remarking, "We're going to reshape what Americans drive. In turn we're going to reshape America itself." 

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RE: just what we need
By Nutzo on 1/28/2011 11:04:01 AM , Rating: 4
People say we just need better batteries and electric cars will be viable.

The real problem is that the electrical grid would never be able to handle a large number of plug-in cars.

Even if there was a break through in batteries that would give you a 500 mile range per charge, you would NEVER be able to charge the car overnight. The typical house electrical service cannot deliver that much power.

The Nissan Leaf (100 mile range) needs 7 hours to charge on a 40 amp, 240 volt charging station. That's about the same power required by a central air conditioning unit (don’t try charging you car, running your air and several appliances all at the same time).

Now multiply this by 5 for a car with a 500 mile range, 35 hours to charge?
Want to drop that down to 12 hours? You would need a 240 volt, 120 amp circuit, which is a problem since most homes only have a 100 amp (or less) service for the entire house.

Of course what happens when you have 2 cars to charge? Or your 2 teenagers also have electric cars?

RE: just what we need
By JediJeb on 1/28/2011 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
This is correct, the average consumer only thinks in volts and maybe watts when it comes to electricity and electronics. Amps is the key when talking about electric vehicles and charging them. Amps is also where the danger lies in electricity.

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