Electric Vehicles

Groups voice support for electric vehicle tax credit expansion

The American Public Power Association on Sept. 25 joined a coalition of more than sixty utilities, automakers, and environmental groups in a letter to House and Senate Leadership in support of legislation that would expand the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit.

“The EV tax credit has spurred domestic investments in manufacturing and R&D that have positioned the United States as a leader in advancing and adopting electric transportation,” the groups noted in their letter of support for S. 1094/H.R. 2256, the Driving America Forward Act.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and in the House by Representative Daniel Kildee, D-Mich.

The letter was sent to Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Kevin McCarty, R-Calif., Minority Leader in the House.

The EV tax credit has spurred domestic investments in manufacturing and R&D that have positioned the United States as a leader in advancing and adopting electric transportation, the coalition noted. There are currently more than 1.2 million EVs on the road in the United States, and approximately 85,000 EVs were sold in the second quarter of 2019 alone, a 23 percent increase compared to the second quarter of last year.  According to a recent study, there are expected to be 18.7 million EVs on the road by 2030.

“There are still challenges, however, to growing this important market. Expanding the EV tax credit would continue this upward trend in the deployment of these vehicles and is needed to support the increased investments automakers are making in EVs, while ultimately reducing costs for consumers,” the letter said.

Along with enhancing the nation’s energy security and spurring domestic manufacturing, increased EV deployment also will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and criteria pollutants from the transportation sector, the coalition went on to say.

 As of 2018, the electric power sector had reduced its carbon dioxide emissions 27 percent below 2005 levels, a trend that is expected to continue. Additionally, between 1990 and 2017, emissions of nitrogen oxides were cut by 84 percent and sulfur dioxide by 93 percent during a period in which electricity use grew by 36 percent.

“As electric power sector emissions have decreased and are on a long-term trajectory toward further reductions, increased EV deployment will enable further emissions reductions, creating additional environmental benefits,” the letter said.

The Driving America Forward Act, which focuses on both the section 30D EV and the 30B Fuel Cell Tax Credit, is essential to realizing all these benefits, the coalition argued.

“These tax credits are helping to develop this important market and reduce costs. When these tax credits were enacted nearly a decade ago, EVs were just beginning to appear on the market in limited offerings.”

Now, manufacturers are offering over 60 EVs, including a range of battery-only, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles to meet consumer needs.

The increase in vehicle availability is helping to reduce technology costs and to lower vehicle prices for consumers, the coalition noted. “Expanding and extending these important incentives through the Driving America Forward Act will only continue to fuel EV development and deployment.”

By expanding and extending these credits, “Congress will continue to spur domestic manufacturing investment throughout the supply chain, which will further drive down costs for consumers and put even more EVs on the road—all while enjoying the many environmental, security, and economic benefits EVs bring,” the coalition said.