• Dec 28, 2011
2011 may have been the first full year that multiple mainstream plug-in vehicles were available in the U.S., but it will also be remembered – most likely – as the year when the U.S. federal government was offering the most money to plug-in vehicle buyers (based on the number and types of incentives offered, not in total funds spent). As of the end of 2011 – i.e., three short days from now – three incentives will go the way of an ethanol subsidy. A fourth – arguably the most important one – will remain on the books.

The three federal electric vehicle tax credits that are set to expire are the $1,000 (maximum) to install a home charging station, the $2,500 (max) for two- or three-wheeled EV that have 2.5-kWh batteries or larger and the $4,000 (max) for converting either a hybrid to plug-in or a regular ICE to EV power. The big tax credit that's sticking around is the $7,500 (max, depending on the size of the battery) for buying a new plug-in vehicle. This credit is set to phase out on a manufacturer-by-manufacturer basis once an automaker sells 200,000 plug-in cars. That could take a while, if the credit is left alone. Plug In America's legislative director, Jay Friedland, thinks this may not be so easy. In a recent email to PIA supporters, he wrote:

What keeps me awake at night are ongoing challenges to the overall plug-in car tax credit. I am sure you have heard all of the major media talking about the Payroll Tax Extension; but what you may not have known is that EVs are part of the political football, too. Here's what is going on:

We fought hard (and won!) to get all of these expiring electric vehicle tax credits included in the "energy tax credit extenders package," covering items like the production tax credit for electricity (wind/solar) and the 30% investment tax credit for manufacturing equipment. And with support on both sides of the aisle, we made it onto the list under consideration by the Senate Finance committee.

Now the House has finally joined the Senate in passing a two-month extension on the Payroll Tax Holiday, Unemployment Insurance, and Medicare reimbursement; but at the final moment all other extenders (including ours!) were pushed aside. These EV tax credits are now in play for the full fix, which could come at the end of the two-month extension
.

PIA encourages plug-in vehicle supporters to take action and keep the credits in place.


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  • 33 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      the evil right wouldn't have a leg to stand on if Obama had the spine to tell his ignorant people what the truth is about global warming and peak oil. and for that matter the truth that Iraq was based on obvious lies. because he cowardly stays silent the clueless right thinks that ignorance is a legit view. they 'think' that they couldn't all be wrong.. that allowed stupidity can grow to destroy your country USA. more than it has already.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        LOL Dan, if Obama said the sky was blue, the right would form a Congressional committee to investigate why Obama lied about it, and what commie plot from Kenya he was involved in to try and make it blue.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          @Ezee The problem with your, 'No bail out' 'no subsidy', concept, is that macro-economics is constantly being interfered with by the micro-economic policies of national governments seeking to achieve social engineering by taxation or local regulation. The economic dynamics of the 21st century will become increasingly complex, since economic activity mirrors human activity. Humans are very complex and unpredictable (often irrational). As a result, economic theory can never be an 'exact' science. Simplistic politicians respond to simplistic voters who demand unrealistically simple answers to very complex problems. No national leader can stand by like Herbert Hoover, (although in many ways a great man) and watch the decimation of the national economy. The extinction of GM would have destroyed the entire US Auto-industry, along with most of the ancillary industries. The financial Tsunami would have destroyed the US economy and permitted a massive victory for US trade rivals. A badly weakened US would lose the support of overseas allies and suffer massive internal disruption and civil disorder. Those who would rejoice to see a humbled, impoverished America would be delighted to see American/Western values diminished, and a new, darker, more dangerous age begin. The US government has not only the right, but the duty, to spend public funds to guarantee the public weal. If that means limited assistance to citizens, private or corporate, then such assistance is appropriate, if well administered, and carefully monitored.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          And this is why it is folly to put our trust in government. Dan is focusing on the right, while bashing the left. Of course, Hitler fancied himself a 'third way' candidate! You all have to realize, the mantra of finding the 'right people' has been going on since Mussolini! But guess what? We will never have the 'right people!'. The 'right people' thing was what President Obama meant when he had that odd line, 'we are who we've been waiting for.' well guess what....we are still waiting! Now, elec's comment on corporate greed...ask yourself...who enables that? If the major financial houses were not bailed out all the time, would they do this stuff? They want to make money, right? Would the banks made loans to people with no jobs if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had not bought the loans from the banks, and the community reinvestment act not been in place? With no net below you, you tend to be more careful. I may be accused of being a corporate shill, but first order of business in the EZEE/2wheel administration would be no bailouts, no subsidies, no guarantees. After that, I would dust off the constitution, and give it a good read, and compare that with what we have in place.
      SpeedyRacer
      • 3 Years Ago
      The subsidies for three wheelers and conversions do not seem to be money well spent. They do not seem do anything to advance the state of the art for EVs. The credits for EVSEs and the $7500 for "real" EVs are critical to establish EVs as a long term solution. I prefer to see monies spent where they can do the most good. Very deep spending cuts along with massive tax increases are on their way if this nation is to survive. The federal budget is not sustainable. We need to cut where we can while investing to ensure a sustainable future. Companies must be carefully vetted before taxpayer money is given to them. It's not a left or right thing... It's a do the right thing.
      Ziv
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the $7500 credit survives the loss of the other 3 will be regrettable but not catastrophic. The loss of the $7500 credit would gut the sales of the Volt, Leaf and the FFE. I imagine all three builders would see sales stay so low in 2012 that they would have to cancel the models entirely. By 2013 the credit will still be important, but it won't be a matter of life and death for the BEV's and EREV's.
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course it was a democrat senator (Carl Levine -Mich)who suggested that it was the Obama administration that insisted that a provision in the defence authorization act that authorized indefinite detention without trial of foreign terrorist suspects to be changed to include all Americans. See the video in this article: http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-detention-defense-levin-635/ The article is a silly Obama basher, but it was the video made me wonder and Obama did sign off on this so it certainly seems that contempt for civil rights is a bipartisan thing these days. Seems to me that while we worry about EV subsidies all politicians are scared of the future and preparing for the worst in the aftermath of some less than successful oil related wars and with a financial system that is on the brink of collapse due to corporate greed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ SpeedyRacer: I am a designer and fan of three-wheelers. The $7500 does little, I think, to advance the state of the art in EVs. It would be better applied to changing the status quo, the notion that it takes 4000 lb of steel glass and plastic to move one person. The GM EV1 was substantially more efficient than the Leaf or Focus or Volt -- so we seem to be going backwards. Three wheelers, like my Zing!, at least squander fewer of our resources and contribute less to CO2 emissions. Every 10-mile-per kilowatt-hour vehicle sold does more to contribute to the common good (by reducing resource depletion, by reducing CO2 emission, by requiring less manufacturing energy, by requiring less consumption of manufacturing materials) than large, heavy EVs. I'm not a huge fan of subsidies, but if we have them, then we should use them to make change for the common good, not to support huge multinational corporations. If it were not for subsidies, the Leaf and Volt would be cheaper.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ken Fry Hi Ken, I am always a little puzzled by hopeful EV advocates embracing the concept of 3-wheel vehicles. Even more startling is your opinion that the Volt and the Leaf would have been cheaper without subsidies, and not manufactured by large multi-national corporations! Very intriguing logic.....the problem you may discover is that building a vehicle that people actually are prepared to buy, involves more than the narrow range of objectives that seem important to you. But hey, don't let that dissuade you. Get some money together, (not taxpayers) and start producing your Zing. Who knows? In California anything is possible! Of course, the real reason you choose 3 wheels is to get around safety regulations in some jurisdictions. I am pleased to see that our safety campaign in the UK will finally abolish 'quadracycles' from main highways. Likewise, many states in the US will classify your Zing as a NEV in the future. But the real test will be selling your vehicle. (Without taxpayer funding). Perhaps PR will invest his own money to assist you with manufacture? (at least he might order the first Zing). Good luck!
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          PR, "what personal impact will removing 'quadrangle' EV's from UK streets have upon you on the other side of the world in Australia that it makes you so happy?" Like many Australian's, I am also a citizen of the UK, and still spend a fair amount of time in the land of my birth, where I still conduct business and own property. "quadacycles are no longer permitted in Australia, and Australia enjoys some of the highest and most stringent automotive design rules on the planet. I support anything, that within reason, assists the cause of road safety. As to your other remark, it's all very well to sit behind a computer urging others on to impractical and loss generating ideas without actually involving yourself. Try putting your own funds, time or commitment into something practical before stridently attacking those who do! If you had read my reply to Ken more carefully, you would realise that I am trying to dissuade Ken form wasting time (like Aptera) pursuing a useless dream. But, hey I am happy, and supportive, for him to do so as a hobby (unlike you, I actually help build oddball EV projects) but to pretend such vehicles have a mass market is a foolish waste of funds.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco, what personal impact will removing 'quadracycle' EV's from UK streets have upon you on the other side of the world in Australia that it makes you so happy? And why bring me personally into this? There have been plenty of Aptera and other 3-wheel vehicle fans who have posted on ABG all the time. I just put up a post that might help get like-minded people to get together for the greater good of the EV/PHEV movement. I'm neither endorsing, funding, manufacturing, buying or in any other way connected to Ken Fry or Zing! cars, any more than when I post something about Ford, or BMW, or Aptera, or Holden, or any other company.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        FYI -- The Zing! that Ken is talking about is a sub 20K 3-wheel PHEV hybrid. It is sort of like a Volt with 25% fewer wheels, at a more than 50% lower price. If the gov't 10% 2-3 wheeler tax credit were extended, it would be around $16,200 after 10% tax credit (assuming it would qualify). The concept is light and inexpensive commuter vehicle. There is a good thread about it over on the Aptera forum if anyone is interested: http://www.apteraforum.com/showthread.php?t=4897 Official pages: http://www.gaiatransport.com/id3.html and www.zingcars.com
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          Thanks, as always, for the research...
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      "What keeps me awake at night are ongoing challenges to the overall plug-in car tax credit." I'm more concerned by the unemployment numbers, but then I think people with jobs are more likely to buy EVs.
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      If or when I buy an EV I don't plan to install the level 2 charging station. Instead I'll use level 1 charging for the following reasons. My present car sits in my garage all night long 99% of the time. Most of time I will not be driving the EV to edge of its range so it will not take that long to top off. Also, I'll be keeping my HEV for longer trips and for those who purchase plug-in hybrids the vehicle has its own back up generator. I imagine that the vast majority of EV or especially PHEV owners don't really need level 2 charging.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dave D, you are so correct. The GOP has recoiled at many of their own ideas when they are proposed from Obama.
      HVH20
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sure would be nice if Brammo and Zero had their full speed EVs done already.... I could really use $2500 off an electric motorcycle.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        To be 100% accurate, it is up to $2500 of an electric motorcycle, based upon 10% of the purchase price. So a $10,000 dollar Brammo or Zero would only get a $1,000 dollar tax credit. It would have been nice for Brammo and Zero to have their REAL highway/interstate ready bikes already on the market before this tax credit went away. It would be even nicer if Republican Congressmen actually gave a damn about the environment, and wanted to help kick-start the transition off of gasoline, and onto alternate energy sources. Instead we've got a bunch of Luddites who think closing the EPA and drill baby drill are the right answer.
          JeremyD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          The Enertia rebate is based on the Kawasaki 250R if I am not mistaken. I think the Empulse will be based on something like the the SV650, which is 5999... but I could be wrong. If that is the case the Empulse would be $7995 after the CO rebate. Not too bad... just need to get my 07 GSXR750 sold and throw in the difference.
          Yespage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          It is less about the environment than it is about sustainability. India and China have about one-third (I think) of the global population. But the per capita use of oil there is a mere fraction of what we use. Once they develop industrially, their per capita use will grow and the aggregate increase will be very very large. This explosion in demand will make oil much more expensive. If we can get by with what we produce (being the third largest oil producer on the planet), then the US would have a sustainable energy policy. Otherwise, we'll be spending all of our money just to go to work.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          The problem with comparing it to the SV650 is that Suzuki no longer makes the SV650 naked anymore. They sort of replaced it with the Gladius, then stopped building the Gladius. So the comparison to the SV650 might have been a great comparison 2 years ago when Brammo got the whole Enertia ball rolling. But now I have no idea what they would compare it to. Also, when I started playing with the numbers, it looked like Colorado didn't use any one particular bike for comparisons. The numbers came out too odd to match just one MSRP. It looks like they might have taken prices from a number of gassers, and created a composite price, and calculated the difference off of their composite price. There just seems to be way too much gray area to be able to predict anything accurately within 1,000 dollars. The State of Colorado is just way too vague until they actually put a hard number in their FYI document. Heck, Brammo isn't much better when it comes to vague. We don't even know if they are going to build the full line of 6.0's, 8.0's, and 10.0's, or what the actual final MSRP will be. None of those items are set in stone either, especially since they decided to add the 6-speed transmission. Very frustrating all the way around. It's like gm-volt.com circa 2009 all over again.
          JeremyD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          I agree... now my Empulse is going to cost $1400 more. I guess I will have to adjust my TCO calculator app to reflect the change. Thankfully for us the Colorado EV rebate is still in effect.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          JeremyD -- I'm really anxious to find out what the final rule will be for the Empulse. The tax credit could be all over the board under the 2012-2016 Colorado EV rebate rules based upon 75% of the cost difference between the EV and a comparable gasser. Hopefully they will have a final determination on that before "The Call" comes for finalizing orders.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Electronix, Yes, rather disturbing. When did the Democrats start trying to get into our Civil Liberties? The same Democrats who've had their heads so far up the ACLU's A$$ so long that they all got brain damage from asphyxiation!!! It's kind of like Republicans now thinking that it's patriotic to use lots of gas in your SUV and somehow thinking "that's American". The same guys who used to be the first one's to push for us to conserve during times of war or when we needed to stress Americanism. Now they're all running to Walmart as fast as they can to buy Chinese made goods and they all want to support corporations who do nothing but outsource jobs and think giving them tax breaks to do so is a way to "create jobs"!!! Up is down and down is up. Who is convincing us of all these things? Did our IQ go down as the internet made more information available to us? Is there some type of inverse relationship going on??? LOL
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the vehicles really have merit, they will survive without requiring taxpayers to pay for other people's evs.
        Yespage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Taxpayers wouldn't be "pay[ing]" for the ev's, but rather "subsidizing". Greatly reducing our oil usage before China and India really get industrially developed is such a ridiculously important priority that people who actually argue against subsidizing vehicles that come close to eliminating oil use for their vehicle really sound out of touch with America's actual priorities.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        The taxpayers do not "pay for the other people's evs". The tax-credit merely allows those patriotic EV purchasers that are pioneering the way to make us independent of foreign oil to keep a little more of their own money. :-P
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      The question of whether EV's can survive and flourish without government subsidy can be monitored in Australia. Australia has a local car manufacturing industry (Ford, GM, Toyota). In many ways Australia mirrors the middle class US society. Little snow, but vast distances, cities with sprawling suburbs with high % of home ownership. Australia also has relatively cheap petrol, and 240 volt standard electricity. The main difference is the lack of Government incentives and the widespread use of cheap LPG. In 2012 at least 4 EV's will be on sale in Australia. The Leaf priced at $51,500 (+$3200 on road) the iMev, $48,600 (+$2600) GM Volt, $53,890+ ($3000) and the locally produced Blade Electron $46,200.($2600). Renault and Ford have made noises about releasing EV's, but nothing is definite.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        That is a very poor measure of whether EV's can survive and flourish without gov't subsidy over the long term. All that can be determined from Australia not giving any subsidies for early adopters will be a measure of how much Australia will participate in the early adoption process, and how much Australia will just sponge off of all the rest of the Western World. This will only reflect how much Australia lets other nations shoulder the burden of the costs of transitioning from limited-production 1st generation EV's, to large scale 2nd and 3rd generation EV's. If Australia sits back and lets the rest of the world do all the heavy lifting, of course they will lag behind the rest of the world. Right up until they show up late to the party after EV's are mainstream, put there feet up on the table that everyone else built, and asks 'where's my beer'?
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          PR, Considering Australia, a nation of 22 million people, produced the world's first 4 door, production hatchback sedan EV available, on sale the general public, seems to make your usual ignorant and gratuitously offencive remarks both erroneous and irrelevant! So far only the only US manufacturer to successfully produce an EV has been Tesla, and that's a very expensive roadster! The UK has produced successful commercial EV's. GM has finally produced a EVER, and Japan/France the Leaf and iMev, both year after Australia! But, none of that,(as you well know) is the point. The point is Australia is not a major manufacturing nation, nor are many US States, the comparison is, will EV's be adopted by middle class US if subsidies were removed. Given the similarities in economics and culture, Australia is an excellent example, since Australia could easily be a test market for many US states. Now, whats so hard to understand ?
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