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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