Originally published on Sustainnovate.
The current federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit program in operation in the US stipulates that once a car manufacturer hits the 200,000 plug-in vehicles sold milestone that the incentives are slowly phased out over the next year and a half or so.
Is this approach to incentives un-American? Would it have been “more American” to incentivize EVs through a free-for-all approach with only a certain number of incentives available in total (first come, first served)? Or perhaps simply through the provision of an unlimited (or perhaps capped) number of incentives by a certain date (eg 2020)?
With the current approach, it does seem to be the case that companies that have taken the EV sector very seriously (Tesla, etc) seem to be getting a bad deal. Shouldn’t the company that’s truly pushing for a faster EV adoption be the one receiving the financial support? That is the purpose the program to begin with, isn’t it?
These questions were kicked off in my head as a result of a recent discussion thread on the GM Volt forum started by “MarcDan.” Here’s his original comment:
It is generally a (very positive I must say) trait of the American culture ( I am a Canadian) to reward risk taking which favors innovation and progress.
The current set-up of this law certainly does NOT achieve that goal in any way, rewarding the laggards, most of which are foreign companies by the way (Volks, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, etc..) and ‘constraining’ the leaders (TESLA, GM and Nissan), two of the three being American companies by the way.
Is this another case of American self-flogging?
How about amending the law for a ‘play-off’ type of scheme where the first three to reach that limit would automatically see it ‘doubled’; the winners would probably be GM, Tesla and Nissan which is ABSOLUTELY in line with their respective (financial and technical) efforts and risk-taking?
Pretty simple, nothing else to change in the law, the other car-makers would have nothing to complain about since they would not lose their own limit, but at least there would be a semblance of justice in this process…
Are US congressmen and senators afraid of supporting American companies even when it is perfectly right to do so?
An interesting perspective. It does seem strange to seemingly reward the “laggards” rather than the pioneers. Any opinions?
Image by Kyle Field / CleanTechnica
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