The latest salvo in the US government’s war on technology is contained in a House bill with the Orwellian title of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would eliminate the federal tax credit for EV purchases.
There’s good reason to believe that killing the tax credit could cripple America’s nascent EV industry. In Denmark, when EV tax incentives were eliminated, sales dropped to almost zero. When the state of Georgia eliminated incentives in 2015, EV sales crashed from around 3,000 per year to around 200. Michael Arbuckle, Nissan’s Senior Manager of EV Sales and Marketing Strategy, recently told Charged that LEAF sales in Georgia plummeted from 80% of the national total to 7%.
Faced with the potential for job losses and a further erosion of the US’s competitive position, the EV industry is marshalling its forces to fight the proposed repeal. Tesla and GM, the two main US EV-makers, have each issued a statement in support of the tax credit. “Because General Motors believes in an all-electric future, we will work with Congress to explore ways to maintain this incentive,” the Detroit automaker told Electrek.
EV advocacy groups are mobilizing to defend the tax credit.
“The credit…created with bipartisan support in Congress, is needed to continue US innovation in electric vehicle components and infrastructure at a time when other countries, such as China, have announced plans to dominate this market,” said the Electric Drive Transportation Association. “Abolishing the plug-in credit will hurt consumers who want electric options and threaten the economic potential of the electric drive industry, which already employs more than 215,000 Americans. Prematurely terminating the credit…will consign the US to be an ‘also-ran’ in the global electric drive marketplace that America built.”
Plug In America believes that “abruptly ending the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs will significantly hurt the electric vehicle market. The organization has created a call to action that makes it easy to send a message to your Representative and Senators, telling them to leave the federal tax credit alone. Click here to send a message to your elected officials in support of the existing tax credit, or here to find contact info for your Representative and Senators.
Source: Bloomberg, Electrek, Wired