Auto Industry 'Charged' to Go Electric

Monday, October 11, 2010

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon settles in an electric car during his visit at the "Mondial de l'Automobile" (Paris motor show) on October 7, 2010 in Paris. (BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty)

Electric cars are good for the environment, but can they be made affordable and viable for a cash-strapped American public? European governments and car manufacturers are investing heavily in electric cars for both environmental and economic reasons. The U.S. government is gearing up to do the same, by offering heavy tax incentives to Americans who buy electric cars.

At the end of this year, the Nissan Leaf, the first all-electric car from a major auto company, arrives in dealerships. For those Americans interested in buying one, there is a list of government incentives waiting: a promise of a $7,500 federal tax credit, a cash back rebate ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on which state you reside in, and a $3,000 home-charging unit courtesy of the Energy Department.

Paul Eisenstein, publisher of, joins us to discuss the 2010 Paris Motor Show, where virtually every major auto maker is introducing their own electric car. He also looks at the incentives the U.S. government is offering for people willing to try all-electric vehicles.

Comments [2]

This was an interesting audio, and though I learned nothing new -- I've followed EVs for several years -- I think this would be an excellent introduction for anyone who has never really thought about EVs and their viability.

It would be nice to see EV technology used far more in mass transit systems than it already is -- municipal buses, subways/elevated trains/surface light rail, etc. In the case of rail, it also would be nice to see EV trains on long-distance railways, since power can be sent through the rails themselves.

Oct. 13 2010 03:53 AM
carol from Long Island, NY

get-on a train ??--------that's a nice idea but when the Long Island Rail Road cut service dramatically last month, what message does that send about using public transportation? I was a train commuter. Now I am in my car.......

I thought that we were trying to reduce the number of cars on the road. Obviously I was wromg.

Oct. 11 2010 08:32 AM

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