Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plug-in Hybrid Bills in Congress Scare Auto Makers

The Detroit News Autos Insider column today is reporting on Congressional efforts to promote plug-in hybrids and the backlash from the automakers. Toyota made the car, the Prius, that made plug-in conversions possible, and now they are trying to rein in the desires unleashed.

Neither CARB incentives nor the efforts of Plug-in Partners have moved the auto makers to produce plug-in hybrids, so conversion efforts are moving along. A123 bought Hymotion and they are producing cars for Google's effort. HybridsPlus and EDrive have converted cars. Calcars continues to work with the Electric Auto Association members to bring a do-it-yourself kit to hybrid owners with moxie.

Legislation proposed in the Senate by Senators Obama, Hatch and Cantwell to offer tax credits to convert hybrids to plug-ins now has its counterpart in Congressman Ed Markey's House bill. The Senate bill is known as the FREEDOM Act ("Fuel Reduction using Electrons to End Dependence On the Mideast Act of 2007"); the House bill the more prosaic "Plug-in Hybrid Opportunity Act of 2007."

Whatever it's called, it's got Toyota in a tizzy.