...and the Kitchen Sink
The original "bailout plan" by Treasury Secretary Paulson was 3 pages long. The Senate version that was passed last night (H.R. 1424) is now 451 pages long and it has "sweeteners" for everybody and their dogs.
One of those is a plug-in hybrid vehicle tax credit that was probably first seen in some GM wet dream: "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," up to $15,000 for vehicles weighting more than 26,000 pounds. Because the Chevy Volt has a 16-kWh battery pack, it would get the maximum credit. Read on for more details.
Bailing Out... GM?
But that's not all! Part of the big smile on GM's face is the provision that restricts the credit to vehicles with a battery pack with at least 4 kWh of capacity. This means that the first generation of Toyota plug-in hybrids, and probably many others, will be excluded.
It's a good thing they're setting a high standard for plug-in hybrids, but if they had wanted to encourage PHEVs in general, they could have had smaller credits for plug-ins with smaller battery packs.
When Will it End?
"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."
But it's not done yet. The bill still has to pass in congress. The vote is tomorrow.
Via Green Car Congress
Plug-In Hybrid Cars
Green at WIRED NextFest: Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
GM to Build the Volt's 1.4L Engine in Flint and Double Production of Small 4-Cylinder Engines by 2011
GM Releases 2011 Chevy Volt Photos & Specifications! (Tons of Photos)
Fisker Raises $65 Million for Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car