A decision made recently by the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will spark the popularity of plug-in hybrid vehicles. The U.S. Congress approved a bill introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) to provide tax incentives for buyers of these low-emission vehicles. This legislation was introduced as part of the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act of 2007.
The measure marks the first plug-in hybrid legislation to receive committee approval and was passed by a vote of 24-16. Buyers of new plug-in hybrids would receive tax credits of $4,000 to any plug-in vehicle with a battery capacity of at least 4kWh. The credit has potential to increase by another $2,000 for larger battery capacity. That would give a vehicle like the Chevy Volt with a flex-fuel engine and 16kAWh battery capacity a credit of $5,900.
“This bill takes decisive action to make the next generation of hybrid vehicles widely accessible to consumers,” said Rep. Doggett. “It will help us move from fossilized ideas of our energy past to the renewable promise of our energy future.”
Robert Duncan, deputy general manager of Austin Energy, reports that more than five hundred consumer groups and a large majority of the fifty largest cities have committed to the effort of the Plug-In Partners initiative, a national advocacy movement backed by Austin Energy, which seeks to persuade automotive manufacturers to produce plug-in electric vehicles. The legislation comes at a great time as Duncan also reports that more than eleven thousand people and organizations have expressed interest in buying plug-in hybrid vehicles when they reach the market.