The meeting sparked much discussion among legislators. Rep. Hansen Clarke, a Detroit Democrat, said he hopes to see greater incentives given to buyers of these alternative vehicles - buyers currently receive a tax break of up to $7,500 when they buy plug-in hybrids. He wants these breaks made available to people directly at the time of purchase..
Clarke also wants to see GM and other domestic automakers produce more of these vehicles to both sell in the United States and export overseas. As other legislators echoed this hope, it is likely that the Michigan delegation will soon propose extended or new incentive programs.
Sen. Carl Levin said Congress's cap on electric vehicle tax credits needs to be lifted. Each auto company is currently only allowed a tax credit for the first 200,000 vehicles it sells. Levin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow said they would instead consider shifting incentives that go unused by one company to another that will make use of them.
Levin also stated the importance of letting the Environmental Protection Agency know that Congress will have a say in the setting of future mile-per-gallon targets. He noted that only realistic mileage requirements that can be sustained by car companies should be created.
The mile-per-gallon proposition currently in consideration by the EPA has Akerson and other automakers worried. With the EPA discussing requiring vehicles and trucks sold by 2025 to average 62 miles per gallon, car companies are concerned that if consumers don't buy enough of these more expensive alternative fuel vehicles, companies will not be able to afford to meet this next round of standards.
Akerson said the EPA's proposition was "ambitious." Although he stated that GM would remain committed to embracing change, he thought a 6 percent annual increase in miles per gallon would be a tough standard to meet. Akerson proposed that regulators instead regularly revisit and reconsider the stringency of efficiency standards.