Auto executives told the Reuters Auto Summit in Detroit last week that a gasoline tax is best the way to boost consumer adoption of electric vehicles. The executives said that “unless gasoline is $3.50 or $4 a gallon, consumers are not going to want to buy those cars.”
The group’s comments echoed an October study from Lux Research contending that sales of battery-powered electric cars and plug-in hybrids would struggle in the next decade unless gasoline prices triple.
The summit’s automotive group took the idea a step farther, however, calling for a gasoline tax that would ensure greater interest in EVs and plug-ins. “Gradually raising taxes to the point where fuel costs $4 to $5 at the pump will do more to stimulate demand in next-generation vehicles like general Motors’ forthcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid than any other policy initiatives,” including the government’s $25 billion loan program meant to spark innovation, a Reuters story said.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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