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PHOTO CAPTION: DoT Secretary Ray LaHood

White House Defends Plug-In Car Tax Break

Despite criticisms, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood supported $7,500 tax credit given purchases of plug-in cars like Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF.

Published: 10-Jan-2012

DETROIT -- The Obama administration on Monday defended a tax break under scrutiny that is aimed at boosting consumer interest in electric vehicles, which fell short of modest U.S. sales expectations last year.

"The program has worked," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters at the Detroit auto show. "It's real money and people have utilized it."

The administration is pushing aggressive fuel efficiency mandates for the U.S. fleet to lower oil dependence in large part through vehicle electrification. President Barack Obama envisions 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, a goal industry insiders say is wildly optimistic.

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