Cash for Clunkers, a new program that encourages drivers to buy low-emission vehicles, has been met with some criticism. Although the program has good intentions, aiming to save drivers money while saving the environment, many people believe that the restrictions are far too strict.
In order to qualify, vehicles must be newer than 1984 models and they must get no more than 18 mpg (miles per gallon). So, many cars that are potential threats to the environment are not eligible for the program.
As well, critics believe that this is only a short term solution to the current economic situation in the automotive industry. They believe that money and time should be focused more on importing oil, energy solutions and researching climate chances, if the government is looking for long term results. They believe that there are much more effective solutions available.
It is also seen as a short term solution, as the budget does not seem to be big enough to provide drivers with reimbursement money for longer than a few months. The government has $1 billion dollars in vouchers but that is only enough for 250 000 vehicles, which equals only a week’s worth of car sales in the US.
Despite the criticism, however, the program has been very successful. Since the program was launched last week, more than 10% of the Cash for Clunkers budget has been given away. $96 million has already been reimbursed to drivers who are willing to part with their old cars.