<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Want a hybrid? Better buy it before September 30!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Want a hybrid? Better buy it before September 30!

You may have heard about the federal tax credit that gives you up to $3,400 off your taxes if you buy a hybrid, but have you heard about the tax credit's "trigger point"? After a particular car maker has sold 60,000 hybrids, the amount of the tax credit for all of its hybrids starts getting phased out.

Typical, right? The Bush administration wants us to conserve oil, but not too much oil - especially at the expense of the American automobile and oil corporations (the "auto-oil complex").

Since Toyota has hit the 60,000 trigger point for hybrid car sales, the tax credit for its Prius and Lexus hybrids will start phasing down after September 30, 2006. As of October 1, the credit will be reduced to 50% of the original credit until March 31, 2007, then to 25% until September 30, 2007, and then down to zero on October 1, 2007.

The government is talking about extending or modifying this phaseout period, but nothing is official yet. So if you want a Toyota hybrid but can't afford one until after September 30, give your Congressperson a call and tell him/her you want that phaseout period extended - or better yet, eliminated altogether.


(Thanks to Exigent for the scoop.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a Prius. Fun to drive, low gas use, and Toyota generally makes a good product. Car has a screen that tells the driver the mpg at any particular time (100+ mpg on the downhill, 30 uphill, 20-40 out of a stop light), which is fun - because you can see how your driving style impacts gas mileage, and adapt accordingly. Only complaint is that any work must be done by a Toyota certified garage ($$$), with Toyota parts ($$) or you could null your electrical warranty - which you do not want to do on a hybrid vehicle. Therefore, simple addition of a CD player is no small cost (3x standard price for basic Toyota CD player and $$ for installation by the dealer). Other consideration is that Generic Garage down the street likely doesn't know how to fix any problems you may have - once again subjecting you to the dealer garage prices. Thankfully, we've only had minor maint and repair so far. Basically a good car, but don't look at money saved on gas as the only difference between a hybrid and a standard car.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Editor at Large said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the "real world" take on the savings vs. actual cost of owning a Prius (and perhaps other hybrids). We're holding out for a solar-powered car ourselves.

12:06 PM  
Blogger exigent said...

I just think hybrids are a scam. If you dont want to spend a lot of money AND want a car with great mileage get a regular civic. I'm not a honda fan, but the civics get terrific mileage, are cheap to work on, relatively cheap insurance, no ridiculous repair costs, etc.

If someone buys a hybrid to save the environment, thats a wise choice.

If someone buys a hybrid thinking they're gonna save a ton of cash in gas prices...then they need to do some more research.

BTW both my cars have computers that tell you your gas mileage, tire pressure, miles to empty etc etc etc...you dont need a hybrid to get cool features.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Kevin Hayden said...

Good points all, but for now, the bus and a bike still make more sense economically.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Editor at Large said...

Exigent: Good point about other, simpler, gas-saving vehicles. We've never been especially impressed by the Prius's gas mileage, because we remember the old Datsun B210 getting around 45 mpg back in the early 70s. Of course, compact, lighter-weight cars are not as safe in a crash as a Prius, so that is something else to consider.

Kevin: Glad you pointed that out about the bus and a bike. We own one car (for a family of three, plus two dogs) and ride the bus and bikes regularly.

4:54 PM  

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