You won't say it, but we will.

That's what the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) appears to be saying in a response to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on electric-drive vehicle incentives and their effect on vehicle sales.

While the CBO report stayed away from estimating what percentage of plug-in purchases stemmed from federal tax incentives, the EDTA made sure to highlight the idea that "tax incentives can help move electric drive into the mainstream and reduce gasoline use and emissions."

The CBO said in a report released Thursday that the federal government will spend about $7.5 billion on policies that will promote electric-drive vehicles, and that about a quarter of that amount will go directly towards vehicle-purchase tax credits. The federal government gives a tax credit worth up to $7,500 to those who buy plug-ins such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius Plug-In.

Pro- and anti-alt-fuel vehicle incentive rhetoric is heating up in advance of November's presidential election. Earlier this month, the Carnegie Endowment published a paper saying that electric-drive vehicle sales momentum is dependent on federal and local government incentives. Meanwhile, publications such as Forbes have been slamming the federal government for providing direct and indirect financial support towards sales of the Chevrolet Volt, which the publication recently termed a "scam."

We've got the EDTA statement below.
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Electric Drive Transportation Association Responds to CBO Report on Federal Tax Credits for Electric Vehicle Purchases
Thursday, September 20, 2012

For immediate release

Washington, D.C.-Brian Wynne, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), issued the following statement in response to today's release of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) September 2012 report, "Effects of Federal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Electric Vehicles."

"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report 'Effects of Federal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Electric Vehicles' can be another useful contribution to the conversation on the benefit of investment in electric drive. It is important to highlight, however, some of the report's acknowledged limitations. In evaluating the effectiveness of the credit, the report provides the caveat that 'As yet, no reliable estimates exist of the share of electric vehicle sales that can be attributed to the tax credits.'

"EDTA agrees that economies of scale and ongoing technological advances will reduce vehicle costs and consumer tax incentives can help achieve them. While we do not agree with all of the assumptions made and relied on in the report, CBO's illustrations do show that tax incentives can help move electric drive into the mainstream and reduce gasoline use and emissions, while growing the industry. A strong public-private investment in the emerging electric drive industry can provide important energy security, economic and environmental benefits to the U.S."

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