• Jan 3rd 2012 at 11:50AM
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2011 Chevrolet Volt
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Remember Republican Congressman Mike Kelly, the representative from Pennsylvania who said "there is no market for [the Chevrolet Volt]"? He wants to make sure that ends up being true.

On December 30th, Kelly introduced H.R. 3768, which seeks "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles." "Amending" in this case simply mean to eliminate the up to $7,500 tax credit that the Code currently offers to people who buy a plug-in car. The highest rate comes from vehicles like the Volt that have a battery that's at least 16 kWh, but even the Toyota Prius Plug-In, with its 4.4-kWh pack, would offer buyers $2,500 back. H.R. 3768 would take this all away, and plug-in vehicles have already just lost three federal tax incentives.

Kelly does have an ear to the ground on vehicle sales, since he runs Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, which also offers vehicles from Hyundai and Kia. Kelly wrote in USAToday in early December that, "This is not to say I don't support the development of electric cars. I do, but not at taxpayer expense." He continued:

The misuse of taxpayer dollars to promote the electric vehicle is emblematic of the Obama administration's overall misunderstanding, and ultimate manipulation, of the free market principles that undergird our economy. President Obama has become the 'Venture Capitalist in Chief,' gambling hard-earned taxpayer dollars in green projects and industries that are more politically than performance driven.

The plug-in tax credit has been popular among people who support plug-in vehicles, but in the current political climate, all federal monies are under review. We suspect H.R. 3768 doesn't go anywhere, but we leave it to political watchers with better judgment than ours to chime in in the Comments to share their views.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 142 Comments
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      Global oil production all but maxed out (AKA Peak Oil) with demand in India and China only in it's infancy, most of the world's oil controlled by increasingly anti-western governments, the gulf region about to explode after failed military interventions to secure oil supplies, Iran getting away with developing nukes out of fear of interrupted oil supply, records amount of money transferred out of the economy to pay for structurally high oil prices... Yes, no need to support EV development, everything is fine and all of this doesn't at all add up to the perfect storm....
        EZEE
        • 7 Months Ago
        @electronx16
        All very good, reasoned points. You miss one, but I will add it and counterpoint it as to make your argument: 'why yes, but the USA gets their gas mostly from Canada (eh) and Mexico.' 'that is true, however, since oil is a commodity, the prices will still go up, regardless of where we get it from. So it behooves us to continue work toward alternative fuel research.' You all have been great! (waves as he leaves the room)(yes, another ADHD moment)
          Spec
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          Good point EZEE!
      BLS
      • 3 Years Ago
      To me, this is corporate welfare, which I am opposed to. However, you could look at it as a personal tax break for the rich. I am not going to look it up but I am willing to bet that the average income of Volt buyers are in the top 25%. So who is for this? Please weigh in. Do you support corporate welfare? Do you support tax cuts for the rich? Were am I wrong in categorizing these tax breaks?
        • 7 Months Ago
        @BLS
        I agree with you that buyers are most likely high income earners but no one ever said the tax breaks were for the poor. They were put in place to jump start the electric vehicle market and the infrastructure to support it. While I disagree with the approach, I believe you can't just take it away. Companies have built business models around it and it would a very bad precedent for government behavior. If you believe the administrations overly optimistic 1.2 million cars by 2015 we would see $9B in lost tax revenue (assuming no manufacture hit the 200k vehicle limit). Compared to the oil subsidies, this is a drop in the bucket. Stop oil subsidies first then worry about EVs they claim people are not buying.
        Actionable Mango
        • 7 Months Ago
        @BLS
        Don't know why people are downranking BLS. The average income of a Volt buyer is $170,000. In other words, tax payers are subsidizing brand new cars for the upper middle class.
        Stacey
        • 7 Months Ago
        @BLS
        I would argue that subsidies that go directly to a corporation (like employee wage deductions, depreciation deductions, R&D write offs, etc) could be classified as corporate welfare. Offering individuals tax credits benefits the companies building the elligible products, but it actually benefits the purchaser much more. Also, if the company sells more of the elligible products and makes money, that additional income to the company is taxed on the business side normally, which can help offset the cost of the individual tax credit. Since the individual consumer is the prime motivator of the US economy, seems to me that an individual tax credit on a product is a better economic stimulator than a tax deduction or subsidy to a corporate entity. Side point: ABG had an article a few months back about how people were going to Chevy dealers to look at the Volt because of the tax credit, but some were actually buying the Cruz Eco (no tax credit available) instead. Just another flavor in the mix.
      me
      • 3 Years Ago
      gdamn GOP who likes these people? all they do is hate anything "new" or making progress, they hate blacks,women,gays,muslims,latins,hybrids,unions,teachers,vets....who in the hell do they like & who in the hell likes them? The GOP & Right Wing crazy Teabaggers are killing America!
      aintthatchill
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm for ending the tax credit. I want electric cars to be successful, but I don't want pay them to make cars. And for me thats essentially what it comes down to.
        Michael
        • 7 Months Ago
        @aintthatchill
        aintthatchill, You're not paying for them to make cars. That's not the way tax credits works. The way it works is that the Federal Government loses out on tax revenue from those that purchase the cars. GM doesn't get any more money directly, neither does Ford or Nissan. What it does is lower the cost to the consumer making the car more appealing which should in theory lead to higher sales.
        JeremyD
        • 7 Months Ago
        @aintthatchill
        I agree, but only if tax subsidies for big oil are ended as well. This would be a best case scenario for EV sales, as gas prices would go through the roof. This man is basically trying to kill EVs by giving an even more unfair cost advantage to gassers.
      DavidV
      • 3 Years Ago
      Counterpoint: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/12/27/opinion-why-early-ev-adopters-deserve-tax-credits-electric-vehicle/ -- DavidV
      • 3 Years Ago
      These subsidies were started by a Republican administration, despite the revisionist history by this congressman. The oil, coal and natural gas industries have been subsidized for decades, no matter how big their profits. They have the most powerful military in the world working for them, hospitals and doctors treating the victims of their pollution, the Earth and air suffering the consequences of drilling, mining, polluting--ALL at tax payer expense. Why does that not warrant a bill in Congress? EV naysayers always talk about the sticker price of EV's, yet want to make 1st generation EV's uncompetitive by taking away all subsidies. The rest of the world understands that emerging technology requires government help--but not our politicians?
      jjmcavoy.law
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where are all the conservative acolytes who applaud risk taking? Early adopters who buy/lease these first edition vehicles probably are going to be owning obsolete albeit expensive wheels as battery tech improves and prices drop with mass production. Also, am I the only guy who is watching the burgeoning shipping traffic inside the arctic circle where ice used to be?
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      The tax credit allows me to keep more of my money. I thought republicans were all about reducing taxes? Maybe the electric vehicle tax credit is like the payroll tax cut? Is it bad for America if it helps people outside the 1%? Maybe I am not rich enough for my money to effectively trickle down?
        Stacey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Republicans are for reducing CORPORATE taxes, not personal taxes. Since most politicians funding comes from corporations and not individuals, most politicians operate on corporate interests and not the general public's interest. So, to balance the budget, Republicans go after individual benefits and label them "Socialism", but protect corporate benefits and call it "Stimulus", or "Troubled Asset Relief Program".
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Stacey
          The above was for TARP... Many banks were healthy and did not want to accept. But...(from the Boston herald so it must be true) NEW YORK - The chief executives of the country's nine largest banks had no choice but to accept capital infusions from the Treasury Department in October, government documents released Wednesday have confirmed. Obtained and released by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan educational foundation, the documents reveal "talking points" used by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the Oct. 13 meeting between federal officials and the executives that stressed the investments would be required "in any circumstance," whether the banks found them appealing or not. This was hank Paulson, who was appointed under Bush, but retained under Obama.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Stacey
          They are for lowering personal taxes. But most of the lowering goes to the rich.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Stacey
          In the House, H.R. 1424 passed with the following breakdown of votes: Democratic 172 Yea; 63 Nay Republican 91 Yea; 108 Nay Total - 263 Yea; 171 Nay In the Senate, H.R. 1424 passed with the following breakdown of votes: Democratic 41 Yea; 10 Nay Republican 33 Yea; 15 Nay Total - 74 Yea; 25 Nay (Sen. Kennedy was in the hospital and did not vote.) Those damn Republicans...
      Jimmy Joe
      • 3 Years Ago
      This country is BROKE. Stop handing out freebies. Especially to failed automotive companies, banks, homeownes, solar panel companies...
        Stacey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy Joe
        Don't forget to insist on stopping hand outs for oil companies, drug companies and every other big industry that's out there gaming the system. Try to apply your dislike of subsidies to all of the beneficiaries, not just the ones Fox News tells you to hate.
        Edge
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy Joe
        Canada, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia SAY THANK YOU!!! Continue sending you money outside the country for oil, and you will remain in the pit you're in. As a Canadian, I say Thanks America!
          Actionable Mango
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Edge
          You don't mind destroying the Canadian environment to sell the US oil?
          Edge
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Edge
          Mango, you really missed the point. Try re-reading it again. It's sarcasm. His argument is that the country is broke, but that's largely due to America fighting wars for oil, and a huge trade imbalance due to oil imports. With an EV, you're paying money to local electrical generation companies, that provide local jobs. Less money consumers are spending on gas, the more money they have to spend on other things that the local economy benefits from. EV's are are a win win situation for America, and the kind of positive to get America's financial house in order.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy Joe
        What about oil subsidies, Jimmy Joe? I never hear the republican politicians talking about those. Gee, i wonder why? maybe they're not about eliminating subsidies on principle like the libertarians are.. just trying to serve their corporate sponsors ( oil / nat gas / coal industry ) better.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          GM would have to sell over 5 million Volts to equal the $40+ Billion in subsidies that oil gets. (Over 10 years) If the Republicans are really worried about the government giving away money, they are pointing at the wrong things.
          JeremyD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          The sad thing is that these clown's ulterior motives are only blatantly obvious to very few who bother to think about whats really going on. Political smoke and mirrors, as usual.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy Joe
        Yes Jimmy . . . we ARE broke. And that is EXACTLY why we need to stop shipping all of our money out of the country to pay for oil! Think about it.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like hot MILFS
      Stacey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Agreed. The tax code is a complete mess, but I think the big corporations want it that way. I'm a small business owner and in discussions with my CPA, its clear to me that the bigger industries are getting a way better deal out of our tax code than I am. I pay more out of each dollar my company earns in taxes than Exxon and a lot of big companies do. The Section 199 deduction is just 1 of many deductions. The tax code is so convoluted its really not worth discussing individual deductions in a forum such as this. And that's another reason why it will never get changed: Its too complicated to summarize in sound bites. By the time you explain the solution, most Americans have tuned out and are back to playing MW4 and watching their porn.
      EJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      "half dozen out of a few hundred actually doing anything other than serving the military-industrial-corporate-petroleum complex." Yeah, but 3/4 of the remaining half dozen are serving the water-prison-financial industrial complex. Can I interest you in some shares of my newly launched NeoCon index fund?
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