Anyone even vaguely familiar with the European auto market knows that diesel-fueled vehicles take up a huge portion of the roads there. A combination of high fuel efficiency, useful torque in tightly packed cities, low CO2 emissions and tax incentives all contribute to the popularity. However, ever the iconoclasts, the French government wants the oil burners off its roads in the coming years.
Like the University of Georgia and its punchy Bulldog mascot, Georgia's electric-vehicle advocates are about to get a little more pugilistic, says the Atlanta Business Chronicle. That's because, for the second straight year, some state politicos may look to end Georgia's electric-vehicle subsidy. Count the EV Club of the South among those looking to take up the fight.
One California state senator wants to make sure electric vehicles aren't just for the jewelry-rattlers anymore. California State Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) proposed a bill last month that is designed to put plug-in vehicles within reach of those with more moderate incomes than your typical Tesla buyer. It's called the Charge Ahead California Initiative and the bill may cross Governor Jerry Brown's desk as soon as next month.
Perhaps a confluence of larger public and private incentives will help EV reach the tipping point north of the border. Canadian consumers are now privy to company, provincial and dealership incentives that could total more than C$12,000 ($11,200 US) for battery-electric cars such as the Smart ForTwo ED and Ford Focus Electric.
Maybe we've been going about this all wrong. Navigant Research says a recently introduced program in Connecticut that incentivizes dealers instead of EV customers could be effective because it changes the pressure points for electric vehicles. Navigant (formerly Pike) Research notes that the policy could push dealers to put a little more effort into marketing plug-in vehicles that have, in many cases, taken a back seat to more conventional vehicles largely because explaining the technology behin
Advanced-powertrain vehicle advocates in California and Maryland can rejoice over a chilled glass of Napa Valley's finest white wine and a heaping plate of Baltimore's best crab cakes. That's because both states will continue to make life a little financially sweeter for plug-in vehicle drivers. It's a short-term fix for California but potentially longer-term for Maryland.
Last year, about one percent of Georgia's new vehicles were battery-electric, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported last month and Atlanta was a Nissan Leaf hotspot for many months. Sales were likely helped by the fact that neighboring states like South Carolina and Tennessee had lower EV incentives.
Electric-vehicle advocates may really start believing the old Charlie Daniels song The Devil Went Down to Georgia after reading that one of that state's former politicians wants to abolish the local EV tax incentive. Former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin says the state should cut its $5,000 perk because the federal government's $7,500 incentive is enough at this point to get folks to buy plug-ins, the Atlanta Business Chronicle says. Martin is pushing for the incentive to be dropped by April 1.
"Everything for Norway" is that country's motto, but too much might not be a good thing when it comes to Norway's electric-vehicle incentives. The plan in Norway is to shower extensive perks on the first 50,000 electric-vehicle buyers as a way to take advantage of the country's cheap and relatively healthy hydroelectric power. The twist is that that number may be reached by mid-2015, about two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule, according to The Guardian.
Own a Leaf? Nissan would like to keep buyers of its all-electric car it in the proverbial family by offering a $1,000 loyalty discount towards other Nissan vehicles, even those dirty, nasty gas-powered ones.
Electric-vehicle maker Coda Automotive is offering buyers a free year (roughly) of recharging, which sounds good no matter how you slice it. Specifically, Coda is giving a $552 rebate for folks who buy Coda Sedans this month.
The U.S. government would be more effective at spurring plug-in vehicle sales if it provided more financial incentives to consumers instead of automakers. At least, that's the opinion in a Bloomberg News editorial.
Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but Subaru isn't offering any incentives on its BRZ after all. Company spokesman Michael McHale tells Autoblog that the $400 figure quoted in a recent USA Today article can be traced to an analyst's calculation of the value of the current Subaru 2.9-percent APR program. Subaru says the company committed to selling 6,000 BRZ units in the first year of production and it is already well on its way to hitting that figure.
The Golden State's going a little more green once again. The California Air Resources Board approved $27 million in incentives that will be used to accelerate sales of zero-emission vehicles in the most populous U.S. state.
Big trucks just aren't appealing enough on their own, at least in some places. For proof, look to a Shanghai GMC dealer who is offering about three years worth of free gas to anyone who buys a new Sierra Denali. Too bad it'll take about 20 years to pay off the big truck.