Rising gas prices are putting a strain on family budgets across America. With gas above four dollars per gallon, working families are often paying more than $60 to fill their tanks, and consumers are increasingly turning to more fuel efficient hybrid and electric vehicles for relief.
Yesterday, in Smyrna, Tennessee, I had the opportunity to tour the construction site for a facility that will manufacture Nissan Leaf batteries to support increased consumer demand for electric vehicles. Once the plant is completed later this year, American workers will begin producing 200,000 lithium-ion batteries each year. This will go a long way toward meeting the increased demand for electric cars, and to meeting the President’s goal of putting one million electric vehicles on our roads by 2015.
As an added incentive for consumers looking to avoid the pump altogether, we're also proposing converting the $7,500 tax credit for those who purchase hybrid and electric vehicles into a tax rebate. This would allow people who are interested in buying these energy-efficient cars to take advantage of the discount right at the point of purchase instead of having to wait as long as a year for refund checks to arrive in the mail.
All of these initiatives provide an incentive for auto manufacturers to make more of the clean, efficient vehicles of tomorrow. These new vehicles aren't just clean machines; they're also job machines, creating good jobs for American workers throughout the supply chain.
This Administration understands that American families are feeling a great deal of pain at the pump these days. And we will continue doing everything we can to alleviate these burdens now while laying the groundwork for a secure and sustainable energy future.