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Candidate PHEV Race: Obama's Expanded Commitment: $7,000 Incentives, Federal Fleet by 2012
Aug 4, 2008 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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We've been tracking the increasingly direct and lively race between the candidates on policies for plug-in cars, at the CalCars-News Archive­news-archive.html

Previously, Senator Obama had included PHEVs in his $150 billion 10-year package. McCain had proposed a $5,000 tax credit and a $300 million battery development prize, and declared his commitment to helping GM's launch of the Chevy Volt. Last Friday, the Senatorial "Gang of 10" had proposed a $7,500 tax credit, $2,500 for aftermarket conversions, and a goal of getting 85% of our cars off gasoline by 2020.

Here's today's round, coming from Sen. Obama at Michigan State University in Lansing Michigan. Notably, his program appropriately includes steps to increase use of renewable fuels, develop a smart power grid, and to that often-forgotten best solution: "Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy SourceEnergy Efficiency." We include excerpts from his speech, from his program and a Detroit News story. You can read the text of the speech at­page/­content/­enviroshome and may later today find a link there to a video of the speech. The campaign also includes links to a new organization, CleanTech for Obama . (We also end with a zinger one-liner from today's lead editorial in the New York Times, pointing out the common-sense fact that adoption of PHEVs can bring down fuel costs.)

Sen. McCain speaks on energy tomorrow, also in Michigan, that electoral swing state, and may respond further... [This is the first time I've posted so many messages to CalCars-News in one day; meanwhile, I'm trying to start a vacation tomorrow, but will be reachable...]

REMARKS OF SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (as prepared for delivery)
"New Energy for America,"
Michigan State University
Monday, August 4th, 2008, Lansing, Michigan­page/­community/­post/­stateupdates/­gG5zCW

First, we will help states like Michigan build the fuel-efficient cars we need, and we will get one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years.

I know how much the auto industry and the auto workers of this state have struggled over the last decade or so. But I also know where I want the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow to be built - not in Japan, not in China, but right here in the United States of America. Right here in the state of Michigan.

We can do this. When I arrived in Washington, I reached across the aisle to come up with a plan to raise the mileage standards in our cars for the first time in thirty years - a plan that won support from Democrats and Republicans who had never supported raising fuel standards before. I also led the bipartisan effort to invest in the technology necessary to build plug-in hybrid cars.

As President, I will accelerate those efforts to meet our urgent need. With technology we have on the shelf today, we will raise our fuel mileage standards four percent every year. We'll invest more in the research and development of those plug-in hybrids, specifically focusing on the battery technology. We'll leverage private sector funding to bring these cars directly to American consumers, and we'll give consumers a $7,000 tax credit to buy these vehicles. But most importantly, I'll provide $4 billion in loans and tax credits to American auto plants and manufacturers so that they can re-tool their factories and build these cars. That's how we'll not only protect our auto industry and our auto workers, but help them thrive in a 21st century economy.

What's more, these efforts will lead to an explosion of innovation here in Michigan. At the turn of the 20th century, there were literally hundreds of car companies offering a wide choice of steam vehicles and gas engines. I believe we are entering a similar era of expanding consumer choices, from higher mileage cars, to new electric entrants like GM's Volt, to flex fuel cars and trucks powered by biofuels and driven by Michigan innovation.

PROGRAM: NEW ENERGY FOR AMERICA (8-page PDF)­pdf/­factsheet_energy_speech_080308.pdf

As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama has led efforts to jumpstart federal investment in advanced vehicles, including combined plug-in hybrid/flexible fuel vehicles, which can get over 150 miles per gallon of gas As president, Obama will continue this leadership by investing in advanced vehicle technology with a specific focus on R&D in advanced battery technology. The increased federal funding will leverage private sector funds and support our domestic automakers to bring plug-in hybrids and other advanced vehicles to American consumers. Obama will also provide a $7,000 tax credit for the purchase of advanced technology vehicles as well as conversion tax credits. And to help create a market and show government leadership in purchasing highly efficient cars, an Obama administration will commit to:

  • Within one year of becoming President, the entire White House fleet will be converted to plug-ins as security permits; and
  • Half of all cars purchased by the federal government will be plug-in hybrids or all-electric by 2012

PARTNER WITH DOMESTIC AUTOMAKERS: Obama will also provide $4 billion retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that the new fuel-]efficient cars can be built in the U.S. by American workers rather than overseas. This measure will Paid for by Obama for America strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector and help ensure that American workers will build the high-demand cars of the future.

DETROIT NEWS: "Obama vows tax credits, aid to automakers for hybrid cars"
August 4, 2008 by Gordon Trowbridge and Mark Hornbeck­apps/­pbcs.dll/­article?AID=/­20080804/­METRO/­808040391/­1022

LANSING -- Barack Obama today set a goal of 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles on American roads by 2015, and offered tax credits to buyers and a "major commitment" to help the domestic carmakers meet the goal.

Those and other efforts, Obama said in a mid-day speech at the Lansing Center, would allow the United States to end its imports of oil from the Middle East and Venezuela in 10 years. And, he said, it would re-energize Michigan struggling domestic carmakers.

"I know how much the auto industry and the auto workers of this state have struggled over the last decade or so," Obama said. "But I also know where I want the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow to be built: not in Japan, not in China, but right here in the United States of America. Right here in the state of Michigan."

The Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate said he would offer $4 billion in loans and loan guarantees to the carmakers to help develop plug-in hybrids, which would get almost all of their propulsion from electricity and have small gasoline engines as a backup. Consumers would get a $7,000 tax credit for buying the vehicles, which will likely be significantly more expensive than traditional, gasoline-powered cars.

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL FIRST TO STATE THE OBVIOUS: with all the grandstanding about what to do about high prices at the pump, in today's NY Times Lead Editorial "Energy Follies" August 4, 2008­2008/­08/­04/­opinion/­04mon1.html here's something we haven't seen said ANYWHERE: "plug-in hybrid cars that over time could actually make a difference in fuel prices."

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