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Posts Tagged ‘Electric Vehicles’
November 15th, 2019 at 11:57 am
Congress Moves to Exacerbate the Unjustifiable Electric Vehicle Subsidy Monstrosity
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We at CFIF have repeatedly highlighted how the electric vehicle (EV) subsidy complex captures the American public’s most hated elements of bureaucracy:  crony capitalism, wasteful spending, inefficient incentives and government picking winners and losers.

Whatever novelty that EVs may offer, taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be subsidizing them, and bureaucrats shouldn’t be unjustifiably foisting them upon a perfectly healthy automobile marketplace.

Unfortunately, as Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) notes, the EV Industrial Subsidy Complex is now demanding even more:

Although wind and solar advocates continue to assure us that wind and solar are now cheaper than conventional power, the wind and solar lobbies don’t agree.  They are back at the trough.  And the automakers, led by GM and Tesla, are pushing to lift the limit on electric vehicle subsidies from 200,000 EVs per manufacturer to 600,000.”

Preposterously, Congressman Dan Kildee (D – Michigan), who has sponsored legislation to do just that – triple the number of subsidized vehicles allowed – defended that idea by claiming, “The whole notion is that over time, it’s going to take less to incentivize.”

Pardon?

The scheme has already had plenty of time, yet apparently it’s going to take even more to incentivize, not less.

As CFIF emphasized, the entire EV subsidy idea from over a decade ago during the Bush Administration was based upon the idea that the EV industry merely needed a temporary, limited push to create momentum that would become self-sustaining:

[T]he EV subsidy boondoggle was originally justified as a temporary, limited incentive to kickstart the fledgling EV industry.  In 2008, before the American fracking revolution subsequently eased our concerns about the overreliance on foreign oil, the Pelosi-Schumer Congress created a $7,500 tax credit for purchasers of EVs.  Senator Orin Hatch (R – Utah) at the time emphasized the subsidy’s limited scope and duration:

I want to emphasize that, like the tax credits available under current law for hybrid electric vehicles, the tax incentives in the Freedom Act are temporary.  They are needed in order to help get these products over the initial stage of production, when they are quite a bit more expensive than older technology vehicles, to the mass production stage, where economies of scale will drive costs down, and the credits will no longer be necessary.

Well, over a decade later we’re well past the ‘initial stage of production,’ yet they remain ‘more expensive’ and continue to receive taxpayer subsidies.”

We were promised over a decade ago that EV subsidies were temporary and limited.  Today, with greater energy independence achieved due to the fracking revolution and with EVs widely available for any consumers willing to purchase them with their own dollars, there’s simply no reason that the subsidy should be allowed to continue.

Let alone to be tripled.

February 22nd, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Time to End the Federal Government’s Wasteful Electric Car Tax Subsidy Program
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Whatever one’s opinion of electric automobiles, all reasonable people can agree that the federal government shouldn’t be wasting billions of dollars to pick winners and losers in a functioning market.

That’s especially true when nearly 80% of the federal subsidies go to households earning over six figures, making it essentially a regressive tax in addition to wasteful spending and a market distortion.

But that’s precisely what the existing federal electric vehicle tax credit does.  In 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law a bill passed by the Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer Congress to provide $7,500 tax credits for the purchase of electric cars.  Shortly thereafter, Barack Obama extended that credit to cover the first 200,000 electric autos sold by any and all car manufacturers in the United States.  By 2017, the total cost exceeded $2 billion.

And here’s the real kicker, as captured by Congressman Jason Smith (R – Missouri):

Currently, the electric vehicle tax credit rewards buyers of electric vehicles with up to $7,500 in taxpayer-funded subsidies.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the credits have been rewarded to people who don’t need government assistance to purchase vehicles, as 80 percent of the subsidies are given to people making more than $100,000 per year.”

But believe it or not, some in Congress actually seek to expand this indefensible program.  Under their plan, all existing caps would be removed, which the Institute for Energy Research estimates would cost an astonishing $95 billion between 2020 and 2035, and costing every American household up to $70 per year over that 15-year stretch.

But Congressman Smith and Senator John Barrasso (R – Wyoming) offer different and better legislation.  Their Fairness for Every Driver Act would eliminate the tax credit scheme for high-cost electric cars and save billions of taxpayers dollars:

The legislation would help fund new infrastructure projects by requiring users of alternative fuel vehicles to contribute to improving the nation’s roads and bridges…  Eliminating the electric vehicle tax credit is estimated to save taxpayers $20 billion over the next ten years.”

“Gas, electric and alternative fuel vehicles all use the same roads and put the same amount of wear and tear on those roads,” Senator Barrasso notes, and “every driver should contribute to maintain America’s highways.”

He’s right, and it’s time to put an end to this wasteful, market-distorting subsidy to wealthy car buyers.