In the past week, Plug In America has led the charge of EV drivers protesting against the U.S. House of Representatives’ destructive proposal to immediately terminate the federal EV tax credit as a part of their larger tax plan. Thousands of people have contacted their representatives to tell them that this is a stunningly bad idea. We’ll find out over the next few days whether our message has gotten through—and we are hopeful. But now we have to worry about the Senate.
The United States EV market is finally starting to get some legs. Sales of electric cars were up 37% in 2016 and we’re expecting a similar jump for 2017. We’re still only a hair above 1% of U.S. new car sales, but if that kind of growth keeps going, it will soon add up to some serious volume. Batteries are getting cheaper by the month, as sales increase, just like any other rapidly scaling manufactured product. With falling battery costs, Bloomberg estimates that EVs will hit price parity with gas cars as soon as 2025, and then quickly become even cheaper.
But for now, EVs cost more to produce than gas cars, which is why the federal tax credit is so critical. It supports the whole market and helps us get the volumes needed to keep battery prices falling. With the tax credits, EV prices are comparable to similar model gas cars.
Many foreign countries already understand that the future is electric. France, Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, India and China have already committed to phasing out gas cars completely. Germany and China in particular have committed many billions of dollars to building the next generation of electric cars. If we do not show the same commitment, the United States will not be building cars in 20 years—we’ll be importing them.
Thus, now is the critical moment to focus our attention on the U.S. Senate. We must make sure that they hear about our strong support for the federal EV tax credit and do not try to terminate it. Please send a note to your Senators reminding them that we are watching and that the EV tax credit needs their support. And while you are at it, Plug In America needs your support too. We are the only national organization exclusively focused on advocating the interests of EV drivers. Please consider setting up a recurring monthly donation of $10-100. Any amount helps. It is immensely helpful to our advocacy work to have the regular monthly income that we can plan on.
If we do not show the same commitment, the United States will not be building cars in 20 years—we’ll be importing them.