Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Charging America Forward

Showing Senator Stabenow some love. She's been out there, fighting the good fight, never seems to get a lot of credit for it, and she has a good idea here on changing the electric car tax credit into an instant point-of-sale rebate - which would certainly help when it comes to stopping those folks who are trying to apply the credit from their jail cells, or towards their Hummers. The IRS is catching these people, but why not just eliminate the temptation and paperwork and give buyers a break right on the lot? Makes total sense, and therefore will probably require twisting some Republican arms to get it done.

The Charging America Forward Act, first proposed last summer, would provide customers with a $7,500 rebate for plug-in electric vehicles, offer businesses tax credits for purchasing plug-in hybrid trucks, expand a tax credit for the installation of charging stations and renew a public-private partnership to boost advanced battery production.

Vice President Joe Biden last month suggested rebates could replace tax credits as part of the Obama administration's three-part plan to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, and Stabenow says her legislation will benefit Michigan.

Of course it will. Jobs, jobs, jobs, remember? Lifting the cap on the credit is necessary as well. Right now, it stands at the first 200,000 plug-in vehicles sold by each manufacturer - a target that would probably be reached by the Volt and the Leaf sometime near the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 if production and sales go as planned. The Levins are trying to raise that cap to 500,000. Very good idea, and hopefully the price will come down as expected and eventually the break won't be necessary anymore. Time will tell.

Good luck Senator. If the House gives you any lip, be sure and let the public know about it.