Obama Wants $7,500 Tax Credit Changed to Rebate

By Colin Bird  on January 27, 2011


You might have heard it during the State of the Union address Tuesday night, but President Barack Obama's wanting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 is more than just a talking point.

Today, the White House released a plan to achieve this goal, and at the top of the list is a giant incentive for prospective EV buyers. The Obama administration wants to turn the current $7,500 EV tax credit into a straight-up $7,500 rebate you get at the point of purchase. That would drastically alter the confusion around how the current tax credit is applied.

This new proposal would be a rebate, similar to how Cash for Clunkers worked. With this plan in place, a 2011 Chevrolet Volt would cost $32,780 (not $40,280), and a 2011 Nissan Leaf would cost $25,280 (not $32,780). It’s much more favorable and straightforward.

Under the plan, consumers would immediately get the rebate, but the dealerships would still file a tax credit claim, similar to the way the electric vehicle leasing systems works – the credit is automatically applied to the lease by the automaker.

Congressional lawmakers are also debating lifting the current 200,000-car limit per automaker to 500,000 per automaker, according to the Detroit News.

The plan contains other elements, such as increasing community grants and research and development for EVs, all of which would still need to be enacted by a new and more contentious Congress.

What do you think? Do we need a Cash for EVs program in the U.S.?

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