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EV Tax Credits Update March 1, 2015: HB 122 Back in Consideration! EV Ride & Drive March 4th.

March 1, 2015

While nothing has been officially reported out of the Georgia State Assembly, House Ways and Means Committee, we have learned that HB 122 was revoted on within the Income Tax Sub committee and PASSED.  It joins HB 200 and HB 220 for full House Ways and Means Committee consideration and vote which could come as early as next week. HB 122 language (eliminate $5000 ZEV tax credit) is still in HB 170 (Transportation Committee) which has reached the House floor and remains intact in that legislation, along with the $200/year EV road use fee.

On Wednesday, March 4th, automotive OEMs will host a EV/PHEV ‘ride and drive’ event at Liberty Plaza at the Georgia State Capitol to demonstrate to House and Senate Representatives the technology and value of electric vehicles. BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan and KIA (bringing the first ever SOUL-EV to Georgia) will be on hand with vehicles.

If you want to have your voice heard to retain the EV Tax Credit, please visit www.gavevcredit.com.

Watch for an update following this week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.  News on HB 170 and 393 will be updated as new information becomes available.


February 22, 2015

Another busy week at the Georgia State Assembly.  HB 200 and HB 220 advance to the House Ways and Means Full Committee next week.  HB 170 (Transportation Bill) contains language in the now defeated HB 122 and a new Bill (HB 393- Martin) was introduced into the Motor Vehicle committee to allow direct sale of automobiles in Georgia.  This will permit Tesla to sell its cars directly in Georgia if automotive franchise laws were changed per this Bill.

Here’s a link to the story written by EV Club of the South President Michael Beinenson outlining what happened last week. http://insideevs.com/lawmakers-love-electric-cars-georgia-5-bills-pending/

For more information on HB 220, please visit www.gavevcredit.com


February 17, 2015

Begining at 2:00 PM on Wednesday February 18th, the Georgia State Assembly House of Representatives will take up four Bills which focus on the electric vehicle via the Income Tax sub-committee of the House Ways and Means Committee:

HB 122 – proposes the repeal of the current $5,000 ZEV and $2,500 LEV tax by July 1, 2015. DEFEATED

HB 176 – proposes including all high mileage vehicles including gas hybrids and 47 mpg vehicles in a $2,000 tax credit along with a $10 million budget cap and in perpetuity the tax credit to (currently unavailable) hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. DEFEATED

HB 200 – proposes broadening the definition of the existing electric vehicle charging station tax credit to include retail and commercial buildings at a maximum of $2,500/station along with an annual $750,000 budget cap. PASSED SUB COMMITTEE

HB 220 – proposes the reduction in the ZEV tax credit, inclusion of PHEVs, a $30 million budget cap and a sunset period. PASSED SUB COMMITTEE.

Check back for an update on the outcome of this intense debate!

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Georgia’s Leadership On Electric Vehicles Delivers Huge Benefits To Drivers

The Union of Concerned Scientists released the following statement about the benefits of driving on electricity to the State of Georgia:

ATLANTA (February 11, 2015)— “In 2014 alone, Georgia drivers saved 4.5 million gallons of gasoline thanks to electric vehicles – and that means these drivers have an extra $10 million to put back into the local economy. A new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) shows that driving 100 miles in the average conventional vehicle costs a Georgia driver $13.57 – but in an electric vehicle, driving those same 100 miles cost $3.53 or less. The UCS analysis also shows how important it is for Georgia to continue implementing forward-thinking policies that expand access to electric vehicles in the state.

Georgia is a national leader in electric vehicles, thanks in part to strong state policies that help Georgia drivers take advantage of the many benefits of driving on electricity. Georgia has the second-highest number of electric vehicles on the road in the country, and Atlanta passed Seattle this year to become the second-biggest metro area for electric vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to fuel, are cleaner to operate, and are benefitting Georgia drivers,” says Joshua Goldman, a lead policy analyst for UCS. “Georgia has been a pioneer in putting electric cars on the road.”

While gas prices rise and fall, electricity rates in Georgia have been relatively stable for years. Electric vehicles protect drivers from future changes in gas prices.

“I’m really encouraged by the progress we’ve made on electric vehicles,” said Anne Blair, the Clean Fuels Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “I hope leaders here in Georgia recognize how important electric vehicles are, and what a standout Georgia is on adopting them.”

Georgia has thousands of electric vehicles on the road, but there’s still room for growth. Policies that encourage consumers to choose electric vehicles will continue to pay dividends for Georgians.”

Click here to get the facts on the benefits of driving on electricity in Georgia: UCS Study EVs and Georgia

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UPDATED: Four Bills in Georgia House of Representatives Addressing Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Everyone who has even a passing familiarity with the $5,000 ZEV Georgia State Income Tax Credit knew the pressure would be on to: a). kill it.  b). save it or c). transform it.  Well it looks like all three are going to be debated at the State Capitol during the 2015 Georgia State Legislative Session.

HB 220 sponsored by Ben Harbin (R- Evans) seeks to reduce the tax credit, broaden it to  plug in hybrids, set an annual cap and sunset the tax credit by 2019.  http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/220.

http://m.onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2015-02-11/state-lawmaker-favors-phase-out-electric-car-tax-credit#gsc.tab=0

HB 122 which calls for an immediate repeal of the tax credit effective July 1, 2015, sponsored by Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/122

HB 176 sponsored by Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) which seeks to broaden the tax credit to include gas-hybrids, high mileage cars and future hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles. Annual cap is $10 million and $2,000 credit only applies to Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles in 2017 and beyond. http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/176

Here’s a handy PDF which summarizes and compares the three Bills being processed by the House Ways and Means Sub-committee as early as this week:  Comparison of Electric Vehicle Georgia Assembly Bills

In addition the House Transportation Committee passed HB 170 bill which includes the language from HB 122 (eliminate EV Tax Credit) as part of the transportation funding proposal in addition to assessing EV drivers a $200.00/year road use fee.  http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/170

Next week all three Bills in the Ways and Means Committee are expected to be addressed.  Check back to see what is happening with these Bills.

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2016 VOLT – How close were the predictions?

If I were a professional golfer, I would have been told that my prediction was a ‘gimme’ based on how close I came to being accurate:

Here’s the prediction I made about it at the end of 2014 about VOLT 2.0:

4). Chevrolet VOLT 2.0: a lower cost VOLT 1.0?

With the battery re-engineered to provide more storage with fewer battery cells (192 vs 288) this was expected.  

But look at the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and you get an idea of what the 2016 VOLT is going to look like: compact.

Frankly, it looks like a Honda Civic not a cutting edge EV – but that’s what GM’s research told the designers to do.

Range may improve modestly (45-50 electric miles) – right on the money!  50 EV miles from 18.4kWh battery.

but this vehicle will not be a game changer; it’s likely the vehicle that should have launched in 2011:  $29,995 base price, Missed this one – looks like it’s going to stay at $34,995 before Federal Tax Credit. 

2017 BOLT was shown to advertise the upcoming $30,000 price point AFTER the $7500 Federal Tax Credit. 

Useable gauges, (yup). But the complaints were so high on VOLT 1.0 this had to be done.  But Chevrolet fell back on its current GM cluster gauges so the WOW factor is now gone. Somewhat cool iPad/app based interface.

3 person “Cruze Sized” rear seat.  

Middle seat is just a back cushion. Third passenger needs to ‘straddle’ the battery pack.  

I hope there are more substantial surprises when the VOLT 2.0 is unveiled at the NAIAS the week of January 12, 2015: like using more than 60% of the 17.1kWh battery!  

This did not happen.  Larger battery but no change in useable capacity. Most disappointing:  on board charger modestly increased from 3.3 to 3.6 kW.  Gonna still be slow going charging VOLT 2.0. 

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2015 Prediction #4: 2016 VOLT 2.0 . . . and Blow Out Deals on Unsold 2014 Cadillac ELRs

Tomorrow the new 2016 VOLT 2.0 will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show.  And it looks like we’ll hear about the 2017 200 mile Lithium Ion BOLT 5 door hatchback as well!

Here’s the prediction I made about it at the end of 2014 about VOLT 2.0:

4). Chevrolet VOLT 2.0: a lower cost VOLT 1.0? Let’s face it, without Bob Lutz there would not have been VOLT 1.0. And without former GM CEO Dan Akerson pushing to get $10,000 of cost out of the VOLT, there would not be a 2.0. GM is working hard to ‘tease’ us with it’s mini reveals.  But look at the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and you get an idea of what the 2016 VOLT is going to look like: compact.  Range may improve modestly (45-50 electric miles) but this vehiclewill not be a game changer; it’s likely the vehicle that should have launched in 2011:  $29,995 base price, useable gauges, 3 person “Cruze Sized” rear seat.‘  I hope there are more substantial surprises when the VOLT 2.0 is unveiled at the NAIAS the week of January 12, 2015: like using more than 60% of the 17.1kWh battery!

Check back in to see how close I came to predicting the new VOLT and to learn more about the BOLT!

2014 Cadillac ELR Blowout Sale

If you are in the market for a luxury coupe, new and unsold 2014 Cadillac ELRs can be purchased/financed (no leasing on past model year vehicles) for $52,000 or less.  That’s $24,000 below sticker on the base model.  One dealer in Charlotte has a loaded 2014 ELR demo with 4100 miles for $51,614 ($80,125 MSRP). There are over 200 ELRs in the Southeast alone.  So watch for rock bottom prices (I predict $45,000-47,000) by end of February.  But buyer beware:  these vehicles are a year old, and will continue to depreciate rapidly.  They are VOLT Gen 1.0 (17 kWh battery, 3.3 kW on board charger, noisy 1.4L generator).  But at these prices, it might just be worth it if you want an incredibly comfortable, limited range PEV!

2014 Cadillac ELR

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The Top Electric Vehicle Stories of 2015

No that’s not a typo in the headline!  2014 is in the history books and by all accounts, has been a fantastic year for electric vehicles – smashing the 100,000 annual unit sales mark in November!  More new EV models have launched in 2014 than in the prior 3 years combined and many new/upgraded EVs are coming in 2015 and beyond.

So when we look back at 2015, here’s what I believe the top stories will read nationally and right here in Georgia:

1). Electrified Vehicles Reach the 1% of vehicles sold nationally in 2015. EVs should easily reach this mark on a total industry sales of 16.5-17.0 million yielding 165-170,000 electrified vehicles added to US roads in 2015. Many states have added electric vehicle or charging station incentives or both.  With expanded charging infrastructure and high satisfaction rates among EV owners, the rate of sales growth should propel EVs close to 1% of all vehicles sold.

2). Nissan LEAF approaches the 200,000 Federal Tax Credit phase out. What Now? Arguably, Nissan has done the best job marketing their all electric LEAF which launched in the US in 2011.  By the end of 2015, cumulative LEAF sales will be close to 170,000, just 30,000 units shy of the Federal Tax Credit phase out requirements.  With an all new vehicle slated to launch in the 2017 Model Year (on sale as early as January 2016), how will Nissan market the all new LEAF without its $7,500 tax credit?  Stay tuned – Carlos Ghon has a plan!

3). Tesla FINALLY launches the Model X – Falcon Wing Doors and All.  Look for a Merry Christmas 2015 post on the Tesla blog from Elon Musk announcing the first deliveries of the 2015 Model X – it’s still 2015 and Elon has ‘kept his promise.’  Seriously, the Model X will be another game changer in the high end 6-7 passenger SUV market and will begin to impact Tesla sales in 2016, attacting new buyers to the marque.  Of course, it won’t hurt sales of the Model S, since the majority of its owners have already traded up to the Model D – satiating their need to have the latest Tesla gadget. Savvy used car buyers will snap up the discarded Model S 1.0 offerings at reasonable ($50,000 – 60,000) prices knowing that Elon has promised a battery upgrade in the future and the software upgrades continue.

4). Chevrolet VOLT 2.0: a lower cost VOLT 1.0? Let’s face it, without Bob Lutz there would not have been VOLT 1.0. And without former GM CEO Dan Akerson pushing to get $10,000 of cost out of the VOLT, there would not be a 2.0. GM is working hard to ‘tease’ us with it’s mini reveals.  But look at the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and you get an idea of what the 2016 VOLT is going to look like: compact.  Range may improve modestly (45-50 electric miles) but this vehicle will not be a game changer; it’s likely the vehicle that should have launched in 2011:  $29,995 base price, useable gauges, 3 person “Cruze Sized” rear seat.‘  I hope there are more substantial surprises when the VOLT 2.0 is unveiled at the NAIAS the week of January 12, 2015: like using more than 60% of the 17.1kWh battery!

5). Georgia’s ZEV Tax Credit takes center stage. With Georgia and metro Atlanta garnering a lot of headlines in 2014 as the fastest growing EV market in the US, the handling of the current ZEV/LEV tax credit (currently $5,000/$2,500 with no sunset) will become a national story.  How this one ends up is anyone’s guess.  But one thing’s for sure: Nissan will have the best sales month ever in December 2014 for the LEAF given the metro Atlanta dealers are selling/leasing against the fear that the $5,000 ZEV tax credit will disappear in 2015 so get your LEAF now!

Let’s just hope that everyone can agree on the core issue:  air quality in metro Atlanta/Georgia needs more EVs on our roads to help get annual CO2 emissions well below the 150 million metric tons emitted in Georgia!

6). “PV2EV” begins to have it’s day in the sun. Wouldn’t it just be smart to tie EV charging to its own renewable power generation? For years, separate and uncoordinated incentives (and arguably disincentives) between solar power and electric vehicle charging station infrastructure has kept these two technologies apart.  2015 might be the year when enough solar powered charging stations are built to move the needle in the direction toward a sustainable PV2EV deployment.  With solar power costs falling and the cost to retrofit parking lots and garages with EV charging stations expensive, the time has come for PV2EV to have it’s day in the sun!

7). Georgia Becomes A Leader in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure. Between the push by NRG into the metro Atlanta market from it’s home base in Houston TX, and the announcement by Georgia Power to construct it’s own charging islands (both firms offering DC Fast Charge and 240 V Level 2) Georgia and more specifically metro Atlanta, will become a model for the deployment of fast and convenient EV charging.  By the end of 2015, metro Atlanta will have at least 50 charging islands including installations in Athens and other outlying cities.  Added to that are the public charging stations funded by GEFA that will improve EV charging station availability in the Atlanta suburbs.

It will be fun to see how 2015 unfolds for electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure. We’ll come back and revisit these ‘headlines’ and see where we hit and where we missed.  Your comments and your own headlines are welcome.

Thanks for your readership in 2014!  


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US Electric Vehicle Sales break through 100,000 annual sales mark. But there are only 22,000 Connectors! “Captain we need more p’wer!”

US Electrified vehicle sales up are up an impressive +24% YTD November breaking the 100,000 unit mark!  Over 275,000 EVs on US roads +74% vs. same period last year.  EV charging station installations still lag EV sales:  one EV connector for every five EVs! A few readers asked for EV Charging rules.  Here’s a good resource: evrules.com

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