Though plug-in hybrids may cost more than automakers originally intended, the federal government will help chip in as much as $7500 towards buying a fuel-saving vehicle.
"There's a series of [plug-in] vehicles coming to market in the next couple of years, and I think the credits are going to do a lot to diminish that first hurdle," said Genevieve Cullen, vice president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association. Toyota's plug-in hybrid is expected to hit showrooms in late 2009 and Chevrolet's Volt is due in late 2010. General Motors will also be introducing a plug-in version of the Saturn Vue, while Nissan an electric vehicle in the planning stages. The Chevy Volt is expected to qualify for the maximum credit of $7500. GM spokesman Greg Martin points to these incentives as a faster way to get this promising technology in the hands of more people. "Tax incentives are an effective tool that helps make the upfront price equation for the consumer more attractive and can help spur early adoption of new technology." There's a caveat: the incentives are tied to a quota. Should an automaker sell more than a set amount of PHEV or electric vehicles, the incentives will end. Source: Detroit Free Press