The revised bailout legislation passed by the US Senate on Wednesday (H.R. 1424)—which has ballooned from an original 3-page plan from Treasury Secretary Paulson to the 451-paqe bill approved by the Senate—contains among its many other new provisions a tax-credit for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds.
Phaseout of the credit is to begin after the total number of qualified PHEVs in the US sold after 31 December 2008 is at least 250,000.
Qualifying vehicles must have a battery pack with at least 4 kWh of capacity—a provision that will preclude the inclusion of the first generation of Toyota PHEVs as well, potentially, as other lower all-electric range plug-ins.
(H.R. 1424 was originally proposed in 2007 to require equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment, and for other purposes. It was entitled the “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007.” On 1 October 2008, the Senate decided to use it as the vehicle for the economic rescue legislation.)