Update Friday, November 10, 2017
We won one battle, but the fight to save the electric car is far from over
Thousands and thousands of EV Drivers took action last week and this week to help save the EV tax credit in Congress. Thanks to urgent appeals from Plug In America’s EV driver network, the Senate left the credit out of its version of the tax plan. But the fight is far from over. Once the tax packages pass both the House and Senate Chambers, the two Chambers must resolve the differences between both tax packages (in a process called conferencing), and the House could propose the cut again. Congress is aiming for the conference to take place in December.
We can’t rest on this victory just yet. Both chambers of Congress still need to hear from us, loud and clear: Americans will stand up, and we will save the electric car.
Both chambers of Congress still need to hear from us, loud and clear: Americans will stand up, and we will save the electric car.
Congress this week proposed eliminating the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles. This will significantly hurt the electric car market, as EVs
make up less than 1% of light-duty vehicle sales in the U.S. This federal tax credit is a key incentive that helps consumers make the switch to driving electric. Plug In America is calling upon all EV drivers and people exploring purchasing or leasing an EV before 2018 to step up and help defend this critical incentive. First, we need to dispel some myths.
Myth #1: The credit only benefits rich people.
The tax credit states that qualifying new EV purchases are eligible for a base tax credit of $2,500, plus an additional amount based on the battery capacity of the vehicle, not to exceed $5,000. So, depending on the EV you’re purchasing, you might not get the full $7,500. The full benefit of the credit really depends on what you choose to drive, not on how rich you are.
The credit also applies to leases, reducing the cost of electric cars for low and middle-class consumers, many of whom live in areas where clean air is needed the most.
Myth #2: This is government interference in the marketplace.
To help nascent industries, it’s normal for governments to step in and assist industries as the industry matures and moves into the mass market stages. This is why the EV tax credit was passed in the first place, back in 2008. The current EV tax credit also has a cap on when it will phase out. Once a vehicle manufacturer has sold 200,000 EVs of any make or model, the credit will begin to phase out over the course of a year to 50% of the full credit amount, followed by a step down to 25% and then zero.
The credit also contributes to a strong EV market, which keeps the U.S. competitive in the technology and innovation sectors with countries like China and the European Union. A repeal of the EV tax credit would essentially hand the leadership on EVs to China.
Myth #3: Eliminating the credit helps the taxpayer as part of the H.R. 1 package
There’s absolutely no need to end the credit now. If anything, for all the benefits that EVs provide – fuel savings for consumers, technology and innovation leadership in the U.S., electric grid benefits, clean air, reduced healthcare costs, improved national security – Congress should be talking about an extension or expansion of the credit.
You can help make a difference. Take action and contact your Representative and Senators, NOW.
…for all the benefits that EVs provide – fuel savings for consumers, technology and innovation leadership in the U.S., electric grid benefits, clean air, reduced healthcare costs, improved national security – Congress should be talking about an extension or expansion of the credit.