Kerry Presses for Stringent Requirements for HEV Tax Credits

Kerry says he wants to cajol and excite the marketplace to get it and the industry behind more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Published: 24-Jan-2002

DETROIT, Jan. 21 — Senator John Kerry, who is presiding over Senate Commerce Committee hearings on auto fuel-economy standards, supports tax credits for consumers who buy vehicles powered by hybrid gasoline-electric engines. But he will press to apply more stringent requirements than those passed by the House to determine which vehicles receive credits, Democratic Congressional aides said today.

The House energy bill includes tax credits ranging from $250 to $4,500 for consumers who buy automobiles powered by the hybrid engines and other technologies. The incentives would help offset the higher costs of such vehicles, two of which, the Toyota (news/quote) Prius and the Honda Insight, are already on the market.

But Congress differs on the approach to planned hybrid versions of larger trucks, like the Dodge Durango. The auto industry has argued that broad incentives would encourage incremental gains for all sizes of vehicles. Senator Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, prefers a version of the tax-credit idea, previously proposed by the Senate, that would restrict the credits to vehicles that not only use such technology but also achieve certain mileage goals.

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