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article imageSenate bill could give electric vehicle tax credit a big boost

By Karen Graham     Oct 17, 2018 in Politics
Washington - Tesla Inc and General Motors, which have lobbied Congress to lift a cap on electric vehicles eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, could get their way for up to four years under a new proposal from a Republican senator.
The latest piece of legislation, the third this year, was introduced by Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada. Heller’s bill would lift the individual manufacturer cap but would phase out the credit for the entire industry in 2022, according to Reuters.
Readers will remember that last week, Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced a different bill to end the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars altogether, while imposing “a federal highway user fee on alternative fuel vehicles,” which would then go into the Highway Trust Fund, according to a committee summary.
As for Barrasso's legislation, Democrats are totally opposed to the bill. “Repealing a policy that helps combat climate change is the absolute wrong decision,” said Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the tax-writing Finance Committee.
And earlier this year, in June, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) co-sponsored a bill that would remove the 200,000 EV credit trigger. Instead, an unlimited number of EV tax credits would be available for the next 10 years.
What was interesting about this particular bill was that it did have some bipartisan support, but not enough to get it moving forward. But the Heller bill is different in that it makes a compromise as to the length of time for the delivery cap. And this piece of legislation just might pass on a bipartisan wave.
Both GM and Tesla have lobbied Congress for a continuation of the tax credit and renewed delivery cap, according to federal disclosure reports and interviews with lawmakers. And a change in the current law would be of great benefit to the two automakers.
In July, Tesla confirmed that during the first week of the third quarter, they hit the 200,000 EVs sold mark. GM has said it expects to hit the 200,000 EV mark by the end of the year.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra has called for lifting the cap. However, GM has declined to comment on the Heller bill, but did say it is important “to provide a federal tax credit for consumers to help make electric vehicles more affordable for all customers.”
More about electric vehicles, Tax credit, Tesla, General motors, remove tax credit terigger