PHEVs Get a Tax Break

The bailout bill passed by Congress last week included “sweeteners,” as anyone with a radio, TV, Internet connection, or newspaper subscription has learned by now. What didn’t make the top of the news was the fact that a couple of these provisions to sweeten the Wall Street bailout bill directly affect alternative fuels — in a good way, for once.

Buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles will receive a $2500 tax credit, plus $417 per kilowatt hour for batteries greater than 4 kwh. This makes the Chevy Volt $7500 cheaper, as GM’s Volt blog was happy to point out. The credit will apply fully to the first 250,000 PHEVs sold, then will be phased out over the next year’s worth of sales after than landmark number is reached. (See Section 205 on page 186 of the bill.)

The bill also extends the 30% clean-burning fuel property tax credit to electricity, and moves the deadline for taking the credit out a year to December 2010. (See Section 207 on page 197 of the bill.)

Since that information, while useful, was dry as sand, here’s  video of a souped up Smart ForTwo beating the pants off a Ferrari in the quarter-mile (38 seconds):

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  1. Emily Ramage’s avatar

    Does the bailout bill credit apply only to PHEVs, or to strictly electric drive vehicles as well?

  2. kristen’s avatar

    It should apply to EVs as well as PHEVs. “Qualified vehicles,” according to the bill, have to have a minimum 4 kwh battery, be rechargeable, and be LEV-certified. It also has to be built by a manufacturer, so home conversions won’t count for the credit.