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Currently, buyers of eligible plug-in vehicles receive a $7,500 federal tax credit upon filing their income taxes. In some situations, that $7,500 arrives up to a year after one has plunked down cash to buy a battery-powered auto. However, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), looks to put an end to the delay with a reintroduced bill that, if passed, would provide a $7,500 point-of-purchase rebate to plug-in vehicles buyers.

As we said the other day, even with the debate over health care reform sucking the media's attention, the U.S. Senate is busy with a lot of non-HCR items. There's the debate over the EPA's endangerment finding with regards to greenhouse gases, for one. Another bit of transportation-related news is the Senate's passage of the HIRE Act, which Wired considers the Senate's "first major piece of legislation in 2010."

The U.S. Senate will probably put more money where its 100 mouths are on promoting electric vehicles sometime soon. According to Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the legislators are likely to reauthorize and expand the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act, which the House passed an expansion to last fall. The expansion will probably add about $200 million to the bill each year for the next five years, bringing the overall total to $2.85 billion.

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