Congress has been pushing to finalize a tax reform plan by the end of the year, and it could have consequences for the future of electric vehicles. Although the Senate wants to keep federal EV rebates, a proposal from the House would eliminate the $7,500 tax credit that consumers receive for buying an electric vehicle. Now, several city leaders and industry members are warning Congress not to throw out the rebates they say benefit the economy and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
In a letter to members of Congress, 22 mayors underscored the importance of EV rebates. The letter notes that the rebate program has “proven to be a tremendously effective policy” for the adoption of EVs. In turn, the widespread use of EVs will transition the country to more cost-effective energy production, the letter argues.
“The increased consumer demand for electric vehicles that arose through this tax credit has resulted in the creation of 200,000 new jobs in the U.S. automobile industry, driven technological innovation, reduced oil dependency, saved consumers money, and generated economic benefits,” the letter reads.
Meanwhile, the Electric Drive Transportation Association sent its own letter urging members of Congress to keep the rebates. This organization represents automakers as well as energy companies, tech companies, and suppliers. “Promoting investment in electric drive helps ensure that the U.S. does not lose its competitiveness in a market that we built,” the letter said.
The organization points out there are more than 40 electric, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell cars available today. Still, they make up only 1 percent of cars sold.
Soon, California could take a bold step forward when it comes to the future of electric vehicles. State assemblymember Phil Ting plans to introduce a bill that, in 2040, would only allow the DMV to register cars that don’t emit carbon dioxide. This announcement came after California Governor Jerry Brown expressed interest in stopping the sale of new vehicles with gas engines.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)