Originally posted on CleanTechnica
Studies have shown that financial and convenience incentives boost plug-in car purchases, and twice President Obama has asked Congress to raise the subsidy to $10,000. Obama is asking Congress to raise the EV subsidy at least one more time, and he wants to expand it to other alt-fuel vehicles, reports the Detroit News. Is the third time the charm?
The current $7,500 subsidy remains a generous incentive to be sure, bringing the price of plug-in cars like the Nissan LEAF more in line with their conventional competitors. States like California and Georgia also offer their own local incentives, which has helped put both states at the top of plug-in car adoption rates. The more incentives though the better, as Norway has proven by exempting EV owners from heavy tax burdens, while also offering free parking, ferries, tolls, and even access to bus lanes during rush hour. Electric cars are now the best-selling vehicles in Norway, proving just how powerful carefully considered incentives can be.
In comparison, Obama’s goal of bumping the incentive up to $10,000 and making it a point-of-rebate sale, rather than a tax credit, seems relatively mild. As it stands, some EV buyers don’t make enough money to take full advantage of the tax credit, and they’re still on the hook for monthly payments relative to the cost of the car. A point-of-sale rebate would make plug-ins a lot more affordable for a lot more people. Obama also wants to extend the incentive to natural gas vehicles, something of an olive branch to the fossil fuel industry (which already takes in absurd levels of annual subsidies). Previously, Obama has suggested using fossil fuel royalties to fund new car research, but that plan never came to be.
As you might imagine, not everyone is on-board with Obama’s clean car push, and some even think it’s a New World Order conspiracy designed to control us (or something). So with both the House and Senate firmly in the control of Republicans and time winding down on Obama’s final term, it seems unlikely that this proposal will gain any traction where it has failed twice before.