Electric-Car Makers Want Fed Jolt, Too

Troubled firms call for government aid, bigger tax credits for drivers
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 8, 2008 10:51 AM CST
Tesla workers assembly a Tesla Roadster at their showroom in Menlo Park, Calif., Sept. 16, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The electric-car industry is facing the same problems as Detroit’s needy giants—plus a few of its own, the Wall Street Journal reports. Like Big Three leaders, electric-car reps have been to Washington seeking government help; struggling industry leader Tesla Motors wants $400 million from the $25 billion energy fund that so-called “legacy” automakers are hoping to channel.

President-elect Obama wants a million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015. The head of an industry association hopes the government will expand tax credits for electric-car buyers; back US-based battery programs, which are dominated by foreign firms; and buy electric vehicles for its own use. While the industry believes its time is coming, “the short term is tough,” he says.