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Like our friends in China, should the U.S. reconsider a plug-in tax credit to jump start green car movement?  The latest word is a campaign has started to tax new energy vehicles differently than other vehicles.  This concept is being used in China and would incentivize the use of plug-in vehicles similarly to what they do for hybrids and other eco-friendly technology.

Should the US consider a similar, and possibly more competitive, policy? For instance, would a $2000 clean vehicle tax credit be better than just a tax credit for plug-in vehicles?

Or what if all vehicles that achieved at least 40 mpg combined, qualified for a single $2000 tax credit, plug-ins included?

If some details were worked out this might be a solution for kick starting Americans into reducing emissions and foreign fuel dependency.  It might also be a way to jump sales of new eco-friendly models coming to the U.S. markets in 2012.  It certainly would up the competition between automakers, maybe they would his the EPA CAFE standards before 2025.

Once automakers have embraced such a path forward, could they really go back, especially when 2025 CAFE regulations will require such vehicles? Besides, since we’re already heading in that direction, why not let consumers help drive the way there?

Or would a gasoline tax propel change a lot faster?

While plug-in tax credits are a good idea it might not be enough. If we wait for plug-ins and CAFE to change the way we drive domestically, it’ll still require decades to replace the legacy fleet that will already be on American roads in 2025.

Economic growth requires more energy, yet greater energy consumption is stifling economic growth.

What do you think?  Is the only way forward through serious change to our auto fleet?  Should we turn our attention to plug-in tax credits and 2025 CAFE?

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