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Things might get a lot sweeter in 2013 for folks considering a “new technology car,” as they’re being called at the White House.
President Obama’s 2012 fiscal year budget apparently includes a provision for increasing the federal tax credit from $7,500 to a more substantial $10,000. The subsidy hasn’t been passed yet, but if it goes through, people purchasing natural gas cars, EVs and extended-range hybrids will have more of an incentive to seal the deal.
The increased amount could serve to replace subsidy dollars that disappeared this year which went toward accessory items like home charging stations, meaning a few folks who bought those cars this year might feel a little bamboozled by federal policy.
That sting might be all the more pungent when people realize, as The Truth About Cars points out, that the new incentive is actually a refund available upon purchase instead of the more-complicated tax credit of the past.
Past issues aside, the President appears to have his sights set squarely on the future with a goal to have one million “advanced technology” vehicles on the road by 2015.
Questions about vehicle safety during incidents like the one we saw recently with the Chevrolet Volt battery fires certainly won’t help accomplish that target, but money talks and people are often quick to forget when there’s cash on the table for them. We’ll have to wait and see if the new subsidy makes the cut.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
The EPA will announce Friday that it has approved the use of E15 gasoline for vehicles made after the year 2000. The EPA previously approved the added ethanol content for vehicles made after 2007 – the new regulations would see the amount of vehicles able to use E15 grow exponentially, and directly benefit American corn farmers, whose crop is used in the production of ethanol.
The increased use of ethanol has been roundly criticized for its effect on food prices (more corn used for fuel causes the price of maize, a staple crop for much of the world, to rise), its environmental impact and the simple fact that most small engines are not designed for a such a concentration of ethanol.
Although ethanol is touted as a “green” fuel, the higher blends of ethanol in gasoline can have the effect burning out the catalytic converters, resulting in higher emissions.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Anticipating a drop in demand, Toyota will begin cutting domestic output starting in October. The sluggish demand is being blamed on the end of a subsidy given out by the Japanese government for purchasing an environmentally friendly vehicle.
While Toyota currently makes about 14,000 vehicles per day, output will fall to under 12,000 vehicles, but was expected to make its yearly target of selling 3.2 million vehicles.
Toyota’s Prius hybrid is currently the best selling vehicle in Japan, and sales will almost certainly be affected by the subsidy’s end.