MT. HOLLY, NC – President Obama visited Daimler Trucks North America’s truck manufacturing plant in Mt. Holly, N.C. where he proposed new tax credits and related incentives for alternative-fuel vehicle purchases and R&D.
The proposal covers an increase in the current tax incentive for electric vehicles from $7,500 to $10,000, removing the cap on the number of vehicles per manufacturer eligible for the credit (instead ramping down and eliminating the credit at the end of the decade), and changing the credit to make it available at the point-of-sale by making it transferable to the dealer or financier, which allows buyers to benefit when they purchase a vehicle rather than when they file their taxes.
Another part of the proposal covers accelerating deployment of alternative-fuel trucks. This would include a new tax incentive that provides a credit for 50% of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck, including trucks powered by natural gas or electricity, for a five-year period.
A third part of the program is called EV Everywhere, the second in a series of Department of Energy “Grand Challenges” designed to boost R&D for electric vehicle technologies. The President’s 2013-FY Budget includes $650 million to advance vehicle and battery technologies at the Energy Department, including investments that support this new grand challenge, the White House stated.
Beyond these programs, the Administration announced a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge, which is designed to help 10 to 15 communities invest in infrastructure, remove regulatory barriers, and create local incentives to support alternative-fuel vehicle deployment. One key aspect of the proposal is that it would be “fuel neutral,” allowing individual communities to determine what type of alternative-fuels or power sources will fit best and thereby support. The program would also support the development of up to five regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) corridors.
At the event, the President also highlighted Daimler Trucks’ commitment to manufacturing more fuel-efficient vehicles.