Congratulations to the Volt!

by Russ Roberts on October 7, 2008

in Energy, Entertainment, Politics

I don’t know what is more depressing about the bailout bill, the fact that we’ve transferred so much power to the federal government or the fact that to get it passed, Congress added about $100 billion of goodies to make it palatable. Not to worry. Government has plenty of money.

Check this one out:

Buyers of plug-in electric cars would receive tax credits ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.

It’s a beautiful bootleg-and-Baptist inclusion. Makes the environmentalists happy and is a massive payoff to GM, struggling to stay afloat and makes a billion or so investment in their new electric car, the Volt. I was telling a friend about it, and not remembering the details, mentioned that the bailout bill included a big tax credit for electric cars. That’s good for the Prius, my friend said. Oh no, I said. They’ll figure out a way to target GM. If the Washington Post has it right, and I bet they do, somehow, a plug-in electric car is the key to goodness, not a mere hybrid. The Volt just happens to be a plug-in. Just a coincidence no doubt.

GM has been working so hard to find a way to create a less expensive more powerful battery so that the Volt will be more affordable. But you know, that’s awfully difficult. And they’re trying so hard. So you and I have just chipped in to help make the Volt affordable. Someone let the GM engineers know that they can rest a little bit.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Patapon for pointing out that even though Toyota is working on a plu-in hybrid, it won’t qualify. Imagine that! More details here.


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