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President’s Budget Proposal Could Be Big Boon for Auto Industry

Administration wants $2 bil for advanced vehicle research funding.

by on Apr.11, 2013

President Obama is proposing efforts to promote America's energy independence, including tax credits for electric vehicles.

President Barack Obama is proposing a number of new efforts designed to improve the nation’s transportation system, with a mix of high-speed rails, cleaner fuels, tax credits for those buying alternatively powered vehicles – and as much as $2 billion in funding for advanced vehicle programs.

“We’ll continue our march toward energy independence,” Obama said in presenting his budget proposal to Congress. A key goal will be to eliminate the need for foreign oil imports over the next decade.

Part of that would involve increasing the Department of Energy’s vehicle research budget by 75% to $575 million, while also creating an energy trust fund the administration had previously outlined.

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The budget proposal renewed the White House push to expand credits for those buying electric vehicles and plug-ins. Such buyers now qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits – for which they may have to wait months until next filing with the IRS. The administration would like to bump the number up to $10,000 for qualified vehicles and have the credits become available more immediately.


Opinion: Is GM Turning Things Around?

Was decision to skip $2 billion in aid more than PR ploy?

by on Mar.16, 2009

Is GM's economic pulse showing signs of revival?

Is GM's economic pulse showing signs of revival?

In a stunning, surprise move, General Motors announced, last week, that it would not need a $2 billion infusion of cash from the federal government.  Ever since then, my phone has been ringing off the hook, with friends, industry contacts and talk show hosts alike asking me what this news signifies.

In today’s 24/7 news cycle, the issue is proving to have plenty of “legs,” and when I was asked to comment on NPR, this evening, I thought it time to stop giving glib opinions and think more deeply about the meaning of impact of GM’s decision.

The most common question is why did GM decide to skip this tranche of aid?  According to the automaker, it has made far more progress than it originally anticipated slashing its costs and rebuilding its under-funded war chest.  Certainly, if the company has enough cash on hand to meet its obligations, it would seem logical to avoid borrowing still more money and running its huge debt load even higher.

But Is GM really that much ahead of where it expected to be right now? (more…)