WASHINGTON — The EV Drive Coalition, which formed with a stated goal to reform the federal electric vehicle tax credit, announced its official launch as the U.S. Congress convenes for its lame duck session. Members include such advocacy groups as the Electric Auto Association and Plug In America, Clean Fuels of Michigan and Ohio, the Christian Coalition of America, and four manufacturers: General Motors, Nissan, Proterra, and Tesla.
The EV Drive Coalition brings together a diverse group of industry, consumer and environmental stakeholders with a single unifying mission: encourage passage of legislation reforming the federal electric vehicle tax credit to ensure it brings a long-term benefit to consumers and spurs increased growth of the U.S. EV market.
The original tax credit for electric vehicle buyers catalyzed the market, increased consumer awareness, and grew a nascent industry, directors said. To promote continued market growth and stabilization, members of the EV Drive Coalition are advocating for reform to lift the current cap on the number of consumers who can take advantage of the credit through each manufacturer.
“Arbitrary constraints with the federal credit limit consumer options and make it harder for consumers to purchase the cars they want,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “Lifting the cap would create a more level playing field for all manufacturers, giving consumers the freedom to decide which car they want in a free and fair market. Increased competition spurs more American innovation and technology.”
“A federal tax credit to help make electric vehicles more affordable for all consumers is integral to reaching a zero-emissions future and establishing the U.S. as the leader in electrification,” said Dan Turton, vice president of public policy at General Motors North America. “We feel that the tax credit should be modified so all customers continue to receive the full benefit going forward.”
“We’ve been able to make tremendous strides in the underlying technology of electric vehicles. The battery power and the range have improved significantly over the last few years. With every new advancement, we get closer to becoming an economically sustainable market. However, we’re not there yet, and keeping the cap will have a negative impact on a sustainable U.S. electric vehicle market,” added coalition spokesperson Trevor Francis.
This is an urgent issue, Francis said, because choosing not to reform the tax credit will severely hinder America’s ability to compete in a global market. “At that point, it wouldn’t be just an automotive issue. As it stands now, electric vehicles are responsible for nearly 300,000 jobs. This is a jobs issue and an economic issue in addition to a consumer issue.”