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Obama Admin. Wants Battery Car Rebates

Could it help boost sluggish sales of current EVs, like Leaf, Volt?

by on May.18, 2011

The White House wants to make rebates for battery cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf available at the time of purchase.

Despite near-record fuel prices, Americans have yet to make a significant switch from gasoline to electric propulsion, whether in the form of conventional hybrids or battery-electric vehicles.

So far this year, in fact, advanced electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, have generated barely 2,000 sales, barely two days production of a vehicle like the big Ford F-150 pickup.

The Obama Administration hopes to switch on demand, however, by offering dealer-based incentives — much like the givebacks automakers routinely use to boost sales – rather than the current tax credit system that can take a buyer as much as a year to receive.


“We’d like for people to get a $7,500 rebate on the day they buy the Leaf,” said U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood, during a visit to the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee that is being retooled to start building the Nissan Leaf.

Traditional automotive incentives are provided up front so that buyers can use them to reduce their down-payments and monthly notes.  And by using the same approach for advanced battery vehicles, said LaHood, it would permit customers “to own a Leaf for what most average people can afford.”


California Likely to Dominate Battery Car Market, Says New Study

Texas, NY and Florida also expected to bring strong demand.

by on Feb.14, 2011

That driveway where the Nissan Leaf is parked is likely to be in California, says a new study.

While General Motors may be ready to move up the 50-state rollout of its new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, a new study suggests that California and a handful of other states will dominate demand for battery cars.

In 2015, demand for advanced propulsion vehicles – which includes plug-ins, pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles – will reach nearly 35,000 a year in California, about as much as the next five states combined, forecasts the Center for Automotive Research, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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By that point, there will be an estimated 112,328 of these advanced propulsion vehicles registered in California, compared to 25,746 in Texas, the state projected to have the second-highest demand.

That’s no surprise considering the Golden State is already home to more hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid, than anyplace else.  There are currently 50 hybrids for every 10,000 California residents, about twice as many as any other state in the U.S.