Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on Plug-In Cars


The presidential and vice presidential candidates have been laying out their energy policies at their respective party’s conventions over the past two weeks, but they’ve largely left out the details in acceptance speeches. So Calcars.org, the group following all things plug-in-vehicle-related, has compiled the candidates’ positions on, what else, plug-ins. Obama’s stance is clearly more aggressive than McCain’s when it comes to tax incentives, federal purchases and loans for carmakers, though the group says, regardless of which candidate is elected, “plug-in hybrids will have an advocate in the White House.”

Here’s Calcars.org’s lineup:


  • $7,000 consumer tax credit for purchase of new plug-in cars
  • Some level of tax credits for conversions of cars
  • $4 billion in loans and tax credits to carmakers for factory retooling
  • White House fleet all-plug-in within a year (as security permits)
  • 50 percent of cars purchased for the federal fleet will be plug-in by 2012
  • 1 million plug-in cars on our roads by 2015
  • Raise fleet fuel economy 4 percent per year


  • $5,000 consumer tax credit for purchase of new “zero-carbon vehicles”; near-zero PHEVs would get a percentage of that level
  • $300 million prize for advanced battery technology that delivers a 70 percent improvement in batteries to get to 30 per cent of their current cost
  • Specific support for the Chevy Volt: “the future of America and the world.”


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