Automakers may be able to triple the number of electric cars eligible for tax credits up to $7500 under the terms of a new bill introduced to Congress recently.
The new bill would allow automakers to offer the tax credit to up to 600,000 vehicles, tripling the previously legislated 200,000 EV limit.
Two major manufacturers namely Tesla and General Motors have already reached their limit and have been lobbying for the limit to be removed.
President Donald Trump has attacked the tax credit policy of late, calling for it to be eliminated, suggesting that the removal of the credit would save approximately $2.5 billion over a ten-year period, but bipartisan lawmakers have stated that the tax benefit has encouraged EV purchases and development.
“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,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, one of the advocates of the bill, in a statement.
Other senators that introdcuced the bill were Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, and Susan Collins representative of the state of Maine.
“Ten years ago there were no mass-produced electric cars on U.S. highways, and today, there are about one million and automakers are planning to make millions more,” Alexander noted.
The tax credit has been in effect, and heavily debated by Conservative since 2008.
Conservatives have argued against EV tax credits, saying that the US federal government should not be supporting EV’s at a time when US vehicle buyers are showing a preference for SUV’s and light commercial vehicles, claiming the tax break mostly benefits the wealthier end of the vehicle market, given the slightly higher price of EV’s over conventionally-fuelled vehicles.
"Relatively few Americans have electric cars. But every American taxpayer has helped pay to buy them and keep them on the road," said Nicolas Loris, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation's Thomas A. Roe Institute, a conservative think tank based Washington, in a recent opinion piece published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"Who benefits most from these government giveaways?" Loris continued. Primarily people who don’t need help buying a car."
According to Senator Peters: “Expanding tax credits for electric vehicles would benefit consumers and our environment.
“Continued investment in advanced technologies of the future will help Michigan stay at the forefront of global auto innovation, spur job growth and move us toward a more sustainable and competitive transportation future,” he said.
Senator Alexander, representing Tennessee, which has major GM, Nissan and Volkswagen plants, said “The all-electric Nissan Leaf that I bought in 2011 had a hard time getting me from the Capitol to Dulles airport and back…" "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."