Friday, August 24, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 6:35 PM

The government, in an effort to popularize the use of hybrid vehicles, gave tax credits for consumers who buy hybrids.

Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and tax credits for the Prius, the Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, and the upscale Lexus RX400h are now diminishing. By the end of October, tax credits offered with these hybrids will be gone. This expiration of the tax credit may push consumers away from buying hybrid cars. This might be the case unless Congress steps in and extends the tax credits offered to hybrid car buyers. Tax credits for hybrids can range from as low as $250 to as high as $3,400. Unless Congress extends them, these hybrid credits will disappear after 2010. The credits expire after an automaker sells 60,000 vehicles; the credit will then be phased out over the next few months. Toyota's Prius reached 60,000 sold last summer, but if you buy before October 1, you still get a partial credit: $787.50.

Even with the Accord Hybrid discontinued, the tax credit will still diminish as the Civic Hybrid gains popularity. Mazda has the Tribute Hybrid and the hybrid vehicle recently qualified for tax credits.

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