Mayors Join Auto Industry in Fight to Maintain EV Tax Credit

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mayors join auto industry in fight to maintain ev tax credit

On Wednesday, 22 mayors issued a letter to members of the House and Senate conference committee that’s attempting to finalize a rushed tax plan before the end of the year, saying the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit allows them to better pursue clean-energy initiatives within their cities. The current versions of the bill has the House eliminating the credit, while the Senate has voted to keep it. So far, no automaker has reached the credit’s 200,000-vehicle threshold, and the industry — now backed with mayoral might — has pressed the U.S. government to maintain the incentive.

Alright, so it isn’t the power play that will turn the tide. But it does show that there exists a large group outside of manufacturers and EV fans that wants to keep the credits in place.

The primary issue is that electric vehicles, on average, are still more expensive than traditional internal combustion automobiles. Supporters of the credit believe that, by offering the incentive to shoppers, the initial cost is sufficiently offset to a point that makes purchasing an EV possible for a majority of Americans.

In the letter, the gaggle of mayors claim electric vehicles have created over 200,000 automotive jobs in the U.S. while also providing a thrifty and cleaner alternative to gas-burning cars.

“The lifetime cost of ownership of an electric vehicle is significantly lower than that of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle,” reads the letter. “According to, an online resource provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Transportation & Air Quality, an owner of a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle saves approximately $4,000 in fuel costs over five years while spending approximately $600 per year for vehicle charging costs. Owning an electric vehicle provides working American families with financial savings that they can put towards other needs.”

While the majority of the 22 mayors represent large and midsize cities occupying the American coastline, a handful hail from more central locations like Louisville, KY, Aspen, CO, and Columbus, OH. However, even if every mayor resided in the EV crazy state of California, they would still find their opinions shared by groups beyond its borders.

Automotive News reported that a similar memo was sent to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas) from the Electric Drive Transportation Association. The group represents automakers, suppliers, energy companies, and technology firms interested in advancing electrification.

It states that “congress designed the credit this way to promote multiple manufacturers’ investment and to allow the plug-in electric drive vehicle manufacturers to achieve commercial-scale production and the attendant reductions in per unit costs, while maximizing consumer options.”

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Dec 09, 2017

    99% of the EV tax credits go to the top 5% income earners, so basically it is about helping rich people virtue signal by subsidizing their new EV. As this lobbying illustrates, once a subsidy is in place it is almost impossible to get rid of. Don't be surprised if these mayors, tree-huggers, and Elon start lobbying to get them extended to the first 500,000 units, etc. EVs purchases are almost entirely additions to the fleet size since they are usually purchased as 2nd or 3rd commuting cars, which when combined with fossil generated electricity means they have minimal at best positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Yes other industries also get subsidies, which in an ideal world would also be eliminated, but most of these other industries are also net taxpayers because they actually earn profits. EVs are money losers, Tesla pays no taxes. EV owners do not contribute to paying for roads and bridges because they don't pay fuel taxes.

    • Kosmo Kosmo on Dec 09, 2017

      Great points. A long time ago, somebody really famous said "There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program". Still seems to hold.

  • Tonyd Tonyd on Dec 09, 2017

    How about making technology agnostic. Change the definition of gas guzzler to 30 mpg combined. 100 X (30 - combined mpg) per year road use tax. civic 30-35 zero fusion 1.5t 30-27 300 fusion hybrd 30-42 zero escape 1.5t 30-26 400 f150 2wd 2.7 30-21 900 So ford adds 48v - electric ac - stop-start to fusion and escape and gg tax goes to zero. cut fuel demand to what we produce here and tell all ME to go F themselves.

    • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Dec 10, 2017

      My lowly 2016 Civic EX continues to get approx. 38-39 MPG every tank full with a mix of local and interstate driving.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂