Congress urged to lift limit on electric vehicle tax credits
October 13, 2010
by David Shepardson
Detroit The federal government should lift the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles, a top General Motors Co. executive says.
GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens praised the government for all of the efforts toward making electric vehicles a reality. But he said he'd like to see Congress lift the cap on the $7,500 tax credit.
Currently, credit is capped at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. He warned that automakers could hit that cap during the first-generation of electric vehicles.
GM is set to sell about 10,000 extended range electric Chevrolet Volt models over the next year and 30,000 in 2012.
The credit modified by Congress in February 2009 is expected to cost $2 billion over 10 years.
Congress also created a separate tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of qualified low-speed electric vehicles, electric motorcycles, and three-wheeled electric vehicles or up to $2,500.
Electric vehicle advocates and automakers are discussing the future of battery-powered vehicles this week at the second annual Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit.
As many as 15 electric vehicles and plug-ins are headed to market by 2012.
Nissan Motor Co. is building a plant in Smyrna, Tenn. that will be able to produce up to 150,000 all-electric Leaf models by 2012 and the company plans to sell 20,000 imported Leaf vehicles over the next year in the United States. The Energy Department gave Nissan a $1.4 billion loan to build the plant from the $25 billion retooling fund.
GM has applied for up to $14.4 billion in retooling loans. Stephens said GM still hopes to receive those loans but said the delay in receiving them hasn't slowed the company's progress.
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