The U.S. battery car market got off to a slow start last year. From the standpoint of a deficit-ridden Treasury, that’s probably the good news.
A quick run of the calculator suggests that the federal government provided about $135 million in subsidies during 2011 for purchasers of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. And with sales likely to more than double this year, the hand-outs – in the form of federal tax credits – will also rise sharply.
In all, American motorists purchased about 18,000 battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles, or E-REVs, in 2011, and according to Edmunds.com, that works out to approximately $135 million when you consider that most of those vehicles qualified for the maximum $7,500 in tax credits. That figure does not include additional credits and rebates offered by more than a dozen states and some municipalities.