Obama’s New Budget Calls For $10,000 Rebate For Electric Cars


It’s an election year, which means the partisan political bickering is only getting warmed up. So it is no surprise that politicians on the right side of the aisle are already calling Obama’s proposed 2012 budget nothing more than a “campaign” document. Among the many provisions Obama outlines in his proposal is billions of dollars in infrastructure funding, in addition to a $10,000 rebate for the purchase of electric and other green-tech vehicles.

We’re going to focus on that proposal, because it would dramatically change the dynamic for electric vehicles. Right now, the $7,500 tax rebate (enacted by George W. Bush) means that buyers pay the full price of a vehicle like the Chevy Volt up front. Come tax time, they can deduct up to $7,500 from their taxable income.

The problem with this rebate is that it forces would-be EV buyers to come up with the cash up front. Obama’s proposal would turn the tax credit into a $10,000 rebate, which comes off the price of the car at the point of sale. So instead of making payments on a $41,000 Volt, buyers would make payments on a $31,000 Volt. For the Nissan LEAF, the price would come down to about $26,000; the Mitsubishi i would squeek in at under $20,000.

I’m not sure this rebate stands a chance of getting through a divided Congress, but it would be a huge boon to the electric vehicle business. Right now there is legitimate criticism that the tax credit favors wealthy buyers who can afford higher payments for a lower tax rate. It is said that the income of the average Chevy Volt buyer is about $170,000, which makes sense as a lot of celebrities like Jay Leno flocked to the Volt when it first came out. This rebate would make the payments easier to swallow for the average American.

Incredibly, the $10,000 rebate could also be applied to natural gas vehicles and other high-tech, green cars. That would open up a lot of options.

I for one would run out and buy a Nissan LEAF tomorrow if this proposal actually gets passed. How could I not? For about $300 a month, I could have an all-electric car. That’s almost my entire monthly gas tab between me and my girlfriend.

Would a $10,000 rebate change your mind when it comes to buy an electric car?

Source: The Truth About Cars via The Daily Caller

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Marc P.

    “Would a $10,000 rebate change your mind when it comes to buy an electric car?”
    Euh….. yes it would ! But then again, I live in Canada so it’s not going to happen with our current oil industry loving make a buck at all costs right wing government !
    I have a 2009 VW TDI, so for now, I’m not feeling the gas price hikes as much as most folks and I’m not planing on selling my car anytime soon. But when I will (in say, 6 to 9 years), my intention is to get a Volt or “Volt-like” vehicle. I can’t afford two cars and as I do some regular long distance travelling with gear to haul, I can’t settle with only a short range all electric… so it’s a no brainer.

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  • T Adkins

    Does it apply to EV motorcycles?

  • Jace

    Yes. I would buy it right now.

  • Frake Drubn

    Does it apply to my all electric municipal subway pass?

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  • The $10,000 rebate would be huge in the electric vehicle market. While many consumers see the benefit of owning an electric vehicle, they are hesitant due to the cost.

  • motorman

    If the govt wants more fuel efficient cars on the road why not put the $10K on small cars like a chevy cruze ?? This way you would get a lot of old cars off of the road that are not fuel efficient and replace them with 40 MPG cars as a lot of middle Americans could afford a new car. How many Volts do you think the average American can afford ??

  • Geta Clue

    Wow … really? if they invest half that much in natural gas vehicles they would get twice the participation! EV’s are elitist and snobbish. And the rich that can afford them are doing it with my tax dollars (and no, I cant afford one). UGH! NO I would not buy an EV. The range cant even get me to work one way! Why wouldn’t the gov focus on an technology that can stand on its own merit and is cost effective like natural gas vehicles instead of coal fired electric cars? Where is the common sense? Please!

  • tom

    Actually test drove one the other day, then found out about the proposal to modify/up the previous credit. So now I’m more in a wait pattern???? The test drive was very impressive.

  • Bonnie

    I just drove one this week.. My husband had already fallen in love with it so I wanted to see for myself. I’m ready to buy, but will wait to see about the rebate. This would certainly help us middle class income people to have a great car and not spend all our money at the gas stations.