General Motors is fighting to retain the $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in vehicle purchases, but the company’s recently announced layoffs and plant closings may make it a tough sell in Washington.
As GM nears the 200,000-vehicle cutoff point after which the tax credit will be phased out, the incentive’s very existence is uncertain. One Republican senator has introduced a bill to expand the credit, and another has introduced a bill to get rid of it entirely. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo) introduced legislation in October to abolish the tax credit, arguing that the market for electric vehicles “no longer needs the crutch of government assistance. The idea of the subsidies had to do with trying to make sure that electric vehicles would be a viable technology. Well, that’s clearly there.”
The Associated Press reports that GM has expanded its lobbying footprint in Washington. The automaker has also joined forces with rivals Tesla and Nissan to call for the 200,000-vehicle limit to be removed.
The tax credit was discussed during a private meeting last week between Ohio’s senators, Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, and GM CEO Mary Barra. As part of its recently announced cutbacks, GM said it will stop making the Chevy Cruze at its Lordstown, Ohio facility, and is considering closing the plant for good. According to an unnamed congressional aide cited by AP, Portman told Barra that it would be difficult to support extending the EV tax credit if GM moved production out of Ohio.
Source: Associated Press via E&E News