There’s plenty of debate over the government’s $7,500 tax rebate for plug-in vehicles, and the debate will surely kick into overdrive as the government considers turning the tax rebate into an immediate rebate right at the dealership’s door.
As of right now, if you want to buy say, a Nissan Leaf, you have to pay the dealership $32,780. The $7,500 tax refund only kicks in when you file your taxes, which makes it a lot harder for people right on the cusp of being able to afford a Leaf, or a Volt, or whatever, to get financing. But Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wants to turn that tax rebate into a cash rebate that is applied right at the dealership, so instead of signing on to pay $32,780 for a Leaf, you would pay $25,280, no waiting for taxes necessary. During a recent tour of Nissan’s new battery plant being built in Tennessee, LaHood said such a rebate could come as soon as 2012.
I like the idea, although I don’t like the idea of putting the rebate into the hands of car dealers. Why? Well Cash for Clunkers, the government program designed to boost car sales and get some old cars off the road, was fraught with fraud and by some calculations, a gigantic waste of government money. If there is a way to screw people out of money, car dealers will figure it out. On the same token, I hope this rebate brings more would-be EV buyers into the fold, as cash on the hood is always a tempting offer. And all this investment into EV vehicles and charging infrastructure could be just what our economy needs to get back on track.
Source: Automotive News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.