2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Hot on the heels of President Barack Obama’s pledge of support for expanding U.S. production and sales of plug-in electric cars in his State of the Union address earlier this week, comes more support for the zero emission vehicles from a pair of Michigan Democrats.

Brothers Rep. Sander M. Levin and Sen. Carl M. Levin announced yesterday that they plan to push legislation that would call for an increase in the number of vehicles eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit afforded to buyers of plug-in electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

The tax credit is currently limited to 200,000 cars per manufacturer but the Levin brothers hope to lift this to 500,000. Such a plan could cost tax payers as much as $19 billion over the next 10 years, though the flow on effects in terms of support for the growing electric car industry here in the U.S. would be monumental.

Separately, President Obama said he is aiming to get one million electric cars on the road by 2015 and to do so he is proposing to spend more on research and development.

Furthermore, Vice President Joe Biden called on congress yesterday to increase spending on research as well as offer buyers of electric cars rebate incentives rather than tax credits. Such an incentive would mean buyers won’t have to wait until they file their taxes but would receive the rebate at the time of purchase.

[The Wall Street Journal]