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Senate Finance Committee Markup Proposes Doubling PHEVs Eligible for Tax Credits to 500,000 Units

A proposal in the stimulus package markup emerging from the US Senate Finance Committee modifies the plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit by increasing the original 250,000 vehicle limitation to 500,000 four-wheeled units. It also modifies the definition of qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle to exclude low-speed vehicles.

The credit for light-duty PHEVs (up to 10,000 lbs.), with a minimum battery pack capacity of 4 kWh, ranges from $2,500 to $7,500.

This maximum amount increases to $10,000 for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds but not more than 14,000 pounds, to $12,500 for vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds but not more than 26,000 pounds, and to $15,000 for vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

The proposal creates a new 10% credit for low-speed vehicles, motorcycles, and three-wheeled vehicles that would otherwise meet the criteria of a qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle but for the fact that they are low-speed vehicles or do not have at least four wheels. The maximum credit for such vehicles is $4,000.



Low speed vehicles?

Somehow providing gov't subsidized golf carts to retirement communities doesn't strike me as what legislators ought to have in mind....


The low speed end is only 10% - which seems reasonable.

The main thing is to encourage the replacement of ICE vehicles with PHEV's, which this would do.

Good also that it scales up for commercial vehicles - as they will benefit most (if doing stop/start work).


I wish we'd stop subsidizing specific technologies and start subsidizing any technology that can achieve certain results, in this case fuel efficiency, lower pollution, lower CO2 emissions.

Jim Greene

I suppose it's an improvement, but this limitation puzzles me:

"increasing the original 250,000 vehicle limitation to 500,000 four-wheeled units"

Why limit the number of units at all? This is impressive stinginess given the complete lack of restraint in "bailing out" the rest of the economy.

If the objective is to get EV's going, how about:
A) we don't limit the quantity of people who qualify for the credit
B) we promote awareness among the public that the credit exists (e.g., ads on TV and billboards in urban areas), so that it gets used.


Because the budget for it is limited they cant expand it too fast.

Dawn Fenton

I agree with Mahoni. Even with increased tax credits and caps, plug in vehicles are a long way off for the general public. We rarely hear about the benefits of clean diesel vehicles which now meet CA's stricter emissions standards, are 20-40% more fuel efficient, and emit 20% less CO2 than their gasoline counterparts. What about extending or increasing the tax credits for these that expire next year?


Why is it that only the large auto makers (GM, Ford, etc)get the Tax credit? They are the only ones that have cars that qualify for the tax credit. There are other smaller auto makers like ZAP, Testla, etc. that are not listed as qualified autos for the tax credit.

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