Could EV credits become the next ‘Cash for Clunkers?’

I’ve discussed President Obama’s call for one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015 (here and here), but I have never shared the utter headache that Cash for Clunkers (i.e. the CARS Program) was in 2009.

That year, I was working with a trade association for auto dealers, and we worked closely with NHTSA, our dealer members, and other groups to help implement the program as swiftly and sanely as possible. I must have taken thousands of calls between July 1 and August 24, 2009 – a time that will live in infamy (at least for us working in the car industry). Basically, “C4C” allowed people to trade-in (read “destroy”) their gas-guzzling SUVs for a $3,500 or $4,500 credit toward the purchase of a new car. And let me tell you, I was THIS close to putting Jeepster (my 1997 Grand Cherokee with 150k miles) to sleep.

Now, the government is offering a $7,500 tax credit to buyers who purchase “plug-in electric vehicles” (i.e. the Chevrolet Volt, which roughly costs around $40,000). That’s a big chunk of change for the average consumer who’s living paycheck to paycheck. Electric vehicles – and even just your basic hybrid – are a tough sell to mainstream consumers. While the perception has changed over time, even us auto enthusiasts aren’t completely sold. So with this new subsidy, the question remains, will EV credits become the next “Cash for Clunkers?”

I’ve had this post in my blog topic queue for a few weeks now. But when I found an article today that covered this topic so well, I just decided to keep this post short and sweet. So there you have it. I couldn’t say it any better, so please continue reading the article written by Edward Morrissey for The Week.  He’s also written a different angle for Hot Air here.

Again, check out Morrissey’s article – think of it as a better-written extension to my blog. Oh, and he also found a connection between C4C and these new tax credits a few months ago. Great minds. Read more here.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.