WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has introduced legislation that would give businesses a tax credit for purchasing medium- or heavy-duty plug-in hybrid trucks. Moreover, the bill would provide consumers with a rebate worth up to $7,500 for plug-in electric vehicles at the time of purchase.  

The legislation, called the "Charging America Forward Act," would also extend a public-private partnership Stabenow helped create to increase the production of advanced battery technologies in America.

"Michigan is already a leader in emerging hi-tech battery and electric car production," Stabenow said. "Other countries are acting to develop their own advanced vehicle markets because they realize the tremendous economic potential this new technology represents. These initiatives will allow Michigan innovators to continue to out-compete the world and create new jobs here."

The legislation would:

  • Provide businesses a tax credit worth $15,000 to $100,000 (depending on the truck's size) for the purchase of hybrid medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The bill would extend the hybrid truck tax credit until 2014 and expand the credit to include new plug-in hybrid trucks.
  • Provide consumers with a rebate up to $7,500 at the point of purchase to help spur the sale of plug-in electric vehicles. There is currently a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of these electric vehicles, but consumers must wait until they file their taxes to claim the savings. This legislation would allow consumers to pay less for the vehicle at the time of purchase, similar to the Cash for Clunkers program.
  • Extend and expand a current tax credit for investments in plug-in electric vehicle charging stations. The credit would cover not only the outlet but also any wiring and other costs associated with installation in homes and businesses.
  • Renew the public-private partnership aimed at increasing the production of advanced battery technologies in America.

The legislation has already drawn support from some key players in the auto industry and green fleet sector.

"We are pleased to see Senator Stabenow's legislation that integrates all of the components necessary for successful acceleration of electric vehicles in the marketplace," said General Motors spokesman Greg Martin. "We look forward to working with Congress on legislation that leads to widespread adoption of electric vehicles."