Plug-in electric vehicles just became a little more affordable in Maryland
In an article last month called The Gas Station of the Future? I talked about how plug-in electric vehicles will begin to arrive at dealers later this year and wondered aloud what sort of impact they will have upon electricity consumption. Any significant adoption of electric vehicles by the public would be a huge unforeseen boon for power companies.
One of the main problems with electric vehicles, other than their limited range of course, is their cost. The batteries that are needed to power plug-in vehicles are expensive. The Nissan Leaf will start at $32,780 and the Chevrolet Volt is rumored to be even more expensive at around $40,000. That's pretty expensive for relatively small cars.
These prices aren't as bad as they first appear though because the Federal government is going to provide a $7,500 tax credit on every electric vehicle sold (I'm not saying that I agree with the policy, just that it exists). That credit drops these cars' prices to around $25,280 and $32,500, respectively.
Now individual states are jumping on the tax credit bandwagon. California is currently offering a $5,000 tax credit on the purchase of electric vehicles (where on Earth is that money coming from?) and just today Maryland introduced a $2,000 tax credit on electric vehicles. As an added bonus, MD is allowing electric vehicles to drive in the HOV lanes regardless of the number of passengers.
The initial plug-in electric vehicles won't be cheap, but with the government tax credits they will be much more reasonably priced and likely sold in higher numbers than they would have been. It still remains to be seen how the public will accept plug-in vehicles or probably more importantly how the technology will evolve over the years to make them have a greater range and be less expensive, but this is definitely a situation that anyone who owns or is thinking of purchasing shares of electric utilities should keep an eye on.
Long FPL & EXC