I have very mixed feelings about tax credits for hybrids.

CNN.com has a story about tax credits for hybrids starting January 1, 2006..

If you're unfamiliar with the way taxes work, a credit directly reduces the amount of money you have to pay to the federal government. So, when you get that $3,150 credit for buying a Toyota Prius, and you owe $5,000 to the Feds, you only have to pay $1,850. Since most of us have our taxes taken out by employers from our paychecks, this usually means you'll be getting a refund. From my understanding, there are all sorts of emission rules and comparisons to a similar vehicle from 2002. Also, there is a credit phaseout starting once the manufacturer has built 60,000 of a particular vehicle.

I have mixed feelings because I'm not sure hybrids are really the solution to the problem. Hybrids have a huge battery; how do you safely dispose of it? Also, hybrids like the prius don't get that much better gas milage than cars with small engines did in the past. For example, the Honda Civic CRX Hf from the early 90's got 40+ miles per gallon.

A far better solution would be to force gas guzzling SUV's to get more than 20 miles per gallon. I'm willing to bet there are far more Ford Expeditions/Lincoln Navigators/Chevy Tahoe/Cadillac Escalades on the road than there are hybrids. Switching someone from a 30mpg Civic to a 50mpg Civic helps (400 gallons a year to 240 gallons per year = 160 gallon savings). But not as much as switching someone from a 12mpg Navigator to a 30mpg Civic (1000 gallons a year to 400 gallons a year = 600 gallon savings).