Green Car Tax Credit Ending

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In brief: The tax credit worth up to $4,000 for hybrid-electric, clean diesel, and natural gas vehicles will be ending as of January 1, 2011 after failing to be renewed by Congress.

The word

Hybrid LogoThe tax credit was put in place in 2005 as part of a green renewal initiative, but failed to gain support for a re-instatement after being cut from a tax bill in the Senate Wednesday and expected to be approved by the House today.

Many hybrid manufacturers, such as Toyota, had already reached their 60,000 qualified units ceiling anyway - both Honda and Ford have also seen that limit. Few vehicles still qualify for the credit, one being the Honda Civic CNG and others being hybrids offered by GM.

Congressional representatives claim that the tax bill to which the renewal provision was attached was "trimmed" to keep it from becoming a "Christmas tree of special interests." Because hybrid technology is no longer "new," it doesn't really need incentives to flourish, they say.

And so ...

They may be right and the over-focus on hybrids rather than better (more efficient) alternatives like battery electrics and hydrogen may be a out the door.

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