Stimulus Bill Boosts Plug-in Electric Cars (PHEV)

By dancurranjr On February 20th, 2009

phevThe stimulus bill that President Obama signed today will invest more than $2 billion in plug-in technology, putting vastly more numbers and kinds of plug-in electric vehicles on the road. It will help create jobs and spur spending by incentivizing consumers to purchase the cleanest-running vehicles made today and those just around the corner.

As the stimulus bill moved through Congress, Plug In America’s supporters sent some 60,000 email messages to their representatives coast to coast. The nonprofit organization urged a significant increase in the number and types of vehicles covered by a plug-in vehicle tax credit. It won expansion of the tax credit from 250,000 vehicles industry wide to 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer, and the inclusion of two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles and plug-in conversions.

Eight major auto companies have announced the manufacture, with delivery dates, of highway capable all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The new law’s tax credit of up to $7,500 per vehicle has the potential to stimulate the sale of up to one-and-a-half million plug-in vehicles.

The President has called for one million plug-ins by 2015. This provision will help us to meet Obama’s goal. It gives the auto companies tremendous incentive to accelerate their delivery dates.

Plug In America helped shape an amendment by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) extending a 10% plug-in car tax credit to all-electric motorcycles, three-wheeled enclosed electric vehicles, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, and plug-in cars that have been converted from gas cars or hybrids. Some of these vehicles are already for sale and are the most affordable clean vehicles available.

The amendment passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support, 80-16, showing a unified commitment to get plug-ins on the road.

“This bill makes an investment in our future in electric plug-in vehicles by making sure we create the right incentives for investment in this kind of manufacturing,” Sen. Cantwell said in her Senate floor speech. “… we are going to create economic opportunity now…create jobs for the future and [get] us off of our foreign dependence on oil.”

Plug In America worked closely with a bipartisan group of senators including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and with plug-in hybrid organizations including, and a coalition it created of plug-in vehicle businesses from coast to coast including A123/Hymotion, Aptera, Brammo, Electric Motorsport, Mission Motorcycles, Myers Motors, Persu Mobility, Plug In Conversions Corp., Vectrix, and Zero Motorcycles.

The final bill, which also boosted tax credits for plug-in vehicle infrastructure, modifies a plug-in vehicle tax credit passed into law at the end of the previous congressional session. The credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 for vehicles equipped with 4- to 16-kilowatt hours of battery energy. The auto companies that have announced delivery dates are GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and BMW.

Plug In America is a non-profit organization that works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment.

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