Cash For Clunkers Nearly Out Of Funding Because Of Greener PurchasesS

We have a fresh update on the Cash For Clunkers numbers and it appears that the program actually is quickly running out of funds because people are buying greener cars.

As of this afternoon there were 184,304 cars turned-in worth a total of $775 million, which means the average voucher is $4,205. This is an important number. If more people were taking advantage of the $3,500 voucher this amount would be closer to $4,000. Yesterday's average was $4,229. This indicates one reason why the plan may be running out of money faster than anticipated is more people initially were reaching for the full, mileage-tied $4,500 voucher.

If you look at the list of most purchased cars and see nearly all of them are fuel-sipping cars. The new Focus is the most purchased vehicle and it gets 28 MPG combined, which is 10 MPG more than the 18 MPG maximum efficiency of a trade-in.

Critics afraid of people trading up to a new F-150 with only slightly better mileage appear to have been wrong. People are turning green for the green.

As for when the money runs out, there are numerous factors including the rejection rate and the types of trucks being turned in. If you read the fine print of the bill, the $1 billion for CARS includes $50 million for running the program and $75 million for Class 3 trucks. Assuming two-thirds of the $75 million for these trucks has been spent (and it makes sense because these are probably companies and medium-sized businesses with the capital to make a purchase), this leaves just $150 million for cars. At an average voucher value of $4,200 this leaves just 35,714 cars.

[DOT via Justin Hyde @ Twitter]