Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tax Credits for Plug-In Hybrids?
Washington's growing interest could help make plug-in hybrids more affordable.
The payoff: 150 miles per gallon.
By Kevin Bullis
Bush plugs in: Outside the White House, President Bush listens as David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems, describes the features of a plug-in hybrid, which is powered by either an electric motor or a gasoline engine. This converted Toyota Prius includes a battery pack made by A123 that extends the amount of time the car can run on electricity, saving gasoline. The pack fits into the car’s spare-tire compartment and can be recharged by being plugged into an outlet. The extension cord is attached to the vehicle’s rear bumper (bottom left).
Credit: Courtesy A123
Plug-in hybrid vehicles, which can be recharged using a standard wall outlet, are becoming increasingly practical because of advances in battery technology. And now the technology is also gaining support in Washington, with the promise that it could soon receive the type of federal tax incentives that have helped fuel the sales of conventional hybrid vehicles over the past several years.