Point of sale plug-in tax credits make sense, but $100,000 plug-in truck credits?
Still focused on band-aid solutions?
Despite the fact that there has already been tens of millions worth of plug-in tax credit fraud, the idea of point of sale plug-in tax credits – proposed in new legislation – makes sense, but I cannot help but wonder if this is all much to do about nothing. The lack of point of sale tax credits, for instance, didn’t limit Toyota’s ability to quickly utilize all of its hybrid tax credits. Anyway.
However, up to $100,000 tax credits for plug-in trucks seems headed in the wrong direction.
It’s not that large plug-in trucks are a bad idea, but the batteries for such vehicles are simply very cost-ineffective based upon today’s battery technologies. In fact, according to many studies, the battery technologies for even the smallest plug-in vehicles are still desperately in need of technological breakthroughs, not volume, if such vehicles are ever going to resonate without massive government aid. Consequently, if resources are limited and technologies are still maturing, might it not be better to pump this kind of cash into improving battery technologies?
Nevertheless, I’m not surprised that a Senator from Michigan would propose such legislation.
Today, the auto industry already has technologies that could make every kind of vehicle more fuel efficient, especially gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. But that kind of effort might cut into profit margins it seems. So, instead of fixing real problems today, it’s always easier to throw huge chunks of money to create the perception that real change is being addressed, even though the science contradicts this assumption.
Instead of spending hundreds of millions to put a few thousand large plug-in trucks on the road, might it not be far more efficient to put hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of microhybrids, for example, on the road with the same amount of money and battery materials? According to the data it would be a better utilization of technologies if one wanted to achieve actual results as soon as possible.
But let’s ignore the science and forget efficiency. It’s not really about results, it’s about the perception of change, not actual change. In today’s political theater that’s all that is needed for a good soundbite.