The U.S. federal government has put a lot of money into clean car companies this past year, including about $8.5 billion through U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program (Ford got $5.9 billion, Nissan $1.6 billion, Fisker Automotive $528.7 million, and Tesla Motors $465 million) and another $2+ billion for advanced batteries (some say it was more than that). There may be more coming down the pike.

Vice President Joe Biden revealed a plan for another $5 billion worth of tax credits for green manufacturing in the U.S., some of which could go to funding up to 30 percent of the cost to build plug-in electric vehicles and batteries.

The WaPo says that these subsidies "are a bad deal for taxpayers," because the at-the-pump fuel savings won't be enough to overcome the higher sticker price on the car up front. Also, they write, using data from a recent National Research Council report:
Not until 2047 is it probable that the fuel savings of the entire fleet of plug-in hybrids would balance out the subsidies necessary to make them cost-competitive with conventional vehicles. And the government will have to spend $303 billion to get to that point.

Thoughts?

[Source: Detroit Free Press, Washington Post]
Photo by cliff1066™. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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