A Bipartisan Group in Congress Wants to Expand the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Illustration for article titled A Bipartisan Group in Congress Wants to Expand the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
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The $7,500 federal tax credit for buying an electric vehicle is being phased out for Tesla and Chevrolet. But a bipartisan group of legislators in Congress wants to reverse that, and, in fact, expand it.


You see, that federal tax credit only applies to automakers who have sold fewer than 200,000 electric vehicles, and Tesla and Chevy have both sold more.

Now, legislators including Rep. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have introduced a bill in Congress to make the tax credit apply to an automakers first 600,000 electric vehicles, or triple what current law allows for, as The Detroit News reports.

This comes after President Donald Trump’s efforts to eliminate the tax credit entirely, because the climate isn’t changing at all, the globe definitely isn’t warming up, we all for sure aren’t going to die soon, everything’s fine. Really, we should pollute the world more, if we’re being honest.

I’m being sarcastic, if you couldn’t tell.

Here’s The Detroit News:

The bipartisan group of lawmakers backing the bill said the tax breaks to date have encouraged development and sales of electric cars.

“At a time when climate change is having a real effect on Michigan, today’s legislation is something we can do now to reduce emissions and combat carbon pollution,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said in a statement.

The Detroit News also repeats this specious bit of conservative reasoning for why, actually, the tax credit is bad:

Conservatives have argued the federal government should not be propping up electric cars at a time when car buyers have demonstrated a clear preference for SUVs and pickup trucks.


The government “props up” all sorts of good behavior that people might not otherwise ordinarily do, like, to use a topical example, getting kids vaccinated to prevent the spread of deadly disease. So the idea that because people prefer to buy big trucks and SUVs we shouldn’t also be encouraging folks to buy electric trucks is nonsense, especially when literally the world is at stake.

And no one’s coming to take away your C3 ‘Vette of course, but it’s refreshing nonetheless to see some Republicans agree that electric cars are good and our future, even if I highly doubt this bill has any chance of passing, as long as Trump is around.


Lamar Alexander sucks and is not seeking another term in office in 2020 so he has little to lose but he’s spot on with this quote. (Also, I had no idea he was a Leaf driver):

“The all-electric Nissan Leaf that I bought in 2011 had a hard time getting me from the Capitol to Dulles airport and back,” he said. “Its real range was about 70 miles. Today’s Nissan Leaf can travel 226 miles on one charge. Investing in American research and technology for better electric vehicles is one way to help our country and the world deal with climate change.”


Bring all the electrics, please. We will always have ICE cars anyway. I mean, there are still record stores.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.


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The tax credit isn’t helping lower income drivers buy electric cars. It is helping wealthy people buy into EV’s, even though they could likely afford them anyways. We haven’t seen an ecological benefit to EV’s yet for the small number sold, and the tax credit may be boosting sales, but not enough to offset ICE’s.

The tax credit doesn’t benefit everyone, certainly not at the lower-end of the economy spectrum. I’d rather see taxes spent on education, helping the next generation grow up more ecologically aware and intelligent overall.