Republican senators push new bill to kill electric vehicle tax credit completely and add new EV tax

A group of Republican senators have introduced a new bill to kill the federal electric vehicle tax credit completely and add a new annual tax for electric vehicles.

There have been several efforts introduced over the last year to either handicap, save or even altogether kill the federal tax credit program for electric vehicles.

Now, Republican Senator John Barrasso (Wyoming), along with Republican Senator Roberts (Kansas) and Enzi (Wyoming), have introduced yet another bill to kill the tax credit.

It’s the second time that Barrasso has been pushing an effort to kill the EV tax credit. “Oil and gas” is one of the top sectors to donate to Barrasso’s campaign, according to OpenSecrets. Chevron and Murray Energy are amongst Barrasso’s top donors.

In an opinion piece published on Fox, Barrasso said that all taxpayers pay when someone decides to buy an electric vehicle:

“Never before has the electric-car consumer had so many choices. Taxpayers, on the other hand, don’t have any choice. Every time one of these cars sells, the U.S. taxpayer must help pay for it.”

The tax credit is already starting to phase out for several automakers including Tesla and GM.

Those automakers have delivered 200,000 electric vehicles in the US – triggering a phase-out period, but many other automakers still have a way to go before reaching that number.

Both EV proponents and detractors have criticized the incentive program for de-incentivizing those who invested in the electrification early.

coalition led by Tesla, GM, Nissan, and others has been trying to reform the EV federal tax credit to make more fair for every player and instead boost EV sales for the next few years.

On the other side, the Trump administration have also been threatening to end the electric car tax credit.

Barrasso’s bill also proposes an annual tax for “alternative fuel vehicles” to replace lost revenue from the gas tax.

Here’s Barrasso’s new bill introduced today:

[scribd id=399061833 key=key-bBwyq1IxKwQmNHiBShwj mode=scroll]

Electrek’s Take

This is pissing me off. I know no one like incentives and I’m the first to admit that it’s not the ideal way to accelerate EV adoption, but it’s the best we have right now and killing it would be shortsighted.

An ideal solution would be to tax gas-powered cars more to have their cost represents the cost they have on the environment and the health of the population, which has a direct financial cost.

Therefore, when Barrasso says that “every time one of these EVs sells, the U.S. taxpayer must help pay for it,” he is completely missing the point that when a gas-powered vehicle sells, the entire population of the earth pays, including US taxpayers, and likely at a higher rate than the EV tax credit.

Fortunately, I doubt this effort will pass with the current political situation as control of the federal U.S legislative body is split between Democrats and Republicans.

But that doesn’t mean it’s OK for Barrasso to push this ridiculous rhetoric.

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