By on September 16, 2021

us-capitol, public domain

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t fond of the new electric-vehicle incentives being proposed by the United States Congress and recently stated as much over social media this week. He even went so far as to allege that the bill was lobbyists working on behalf of legacy automakers and the United Auto Workers, as it monetarily benefits domestic manufacturers with strong union ties above all others.

Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to respond to those claims with anything other than an affirmative nod. Due to his seemingly intentional manipulation of cryptocurrency and willingness to overpromise Tesla investors, I’m not the biggest fan of Musk. However, he’s getting support from other manufacturers and it’s pretty hard for your author to see any legislative scenario other than the one he’s supporting — especially since this is frequently how business is done on Capitol Hill. 

While it’s rare to see any government going against domestic automakers, the United States arguably went above and beyond by funding their continued existence of General Motors and Chrysler via the 2008 bailout. Since then, we’ve seen CEOs approaching President Donald Trump to endorse regulatory rollbacks some manufacturers later denied ever having supported and the world’s largest automotive lobby trying to convince the Biden administration to subsidize the advancement of electric vehicles.

As we’re currently dealing with the latter example, let’s take a look at what the bill entails and how it’s making everyone feel.

The Democrat-backed plan seeks to reform federal EV incentives by resetting manufacturer quotas and upping the ante to a $12,500 electric vehicle tax credit. Conservatives have bashed the plan as anti-competitive and socialist, citing that the money coming from taxpayers should not be used to soften the financial blow for electric-car buyers that have typically been higher earners anyway. The updated policies are also embedded in a $3.5 trillion social spending bill Republicans have alleged is too broad. Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have claimed it’s the most direct way of ensuring EV adoption among low-income groups and will likely speed up the nation’s transition to alternative energy vehicles.

This places Elon Musk in a difficult position. While his company has undoubtedly benefited more from EV tax rebates and carbon credits than any other manufacturer, the new proposals place his company (and more than a few others) at a decided disadvantage. The government has added another $4,500 incentive atop electric vehicles coming out of facilities where workers are unionized. Tesla has actively tried to avoid having its staff organize a union in Freemont, California.

“This is written by Ford/UAW lobbyists, as they make their electric car in Mexico. Not obvious how this serves American taxpayers,” Musk said over Twitter in response to the bill.

If you’re wondering why he singled out Ford, the bill includes a grace period of 5 years for models produced outside of the country that still allows them to benefit from $7,500 in federal incentives. Blue Oval recently spent a small fortune building up a facility to manufacture the Mustang Mach-E in Mexico.

A clandestine meeting between legislators and Ford CEO Jim Farley is unlikely. But that’s what lobbyists are for and they’ve been incredibly busy, with the Alliance For Automotive Innovation (the largest industry lobby currently in existence) supporting some of the most aggressive pro-EV rulemaking you could imagine. AAI member companies include Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW Group, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Karma, Isuzu, Volkswagen, Volvo, and numerous technology firms — but not Tesla.

Toyota and Honda have likewise expressed their shared dismay with the proposals, presumably because they don’t have union facilities in the United States. They also aren’t presently building any electric vehicles stateside and are likely concerned with future investments and strategy.

Electrek managed to get a statement out of Ford regarding Musk’s comments. But it was sadly framed around the author’s assumption that anything that progresses electrification is good by default. I’m not sure what I was expecting from an outlet that literally exists to promote EVs. It just seems silly and shortsighted to assume the end justifies the means.

“Electric vehicle consumer incentives are key to accelerating the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future, and we appreciate Congressman Kildee and Senator Stabenow’s leadership on this issue,” Kumar Galhotra, President, Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company, told the outlet. “This legislation will help more Americans get into EVs, while at the same time supporting American manufacturing and union jobs. As the automaker who assembles more vehicles in America than any other, Ford is doing our part to lead the electric vehicle revolution by investing tens of billions of dollars in EVs. Initial customer response to the fully electric versions of our most iconic and popular vehicles, like the American-assembled F-150 Lightning and E-Transit, is exceeding our expectations. We will continue to work with our government and UAW partners to combat climate change and stand up for American workers.”

The phrase “government and UAW partners” is rather telling. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is a Michigan Democrat holding office since 2001 with deep ties to both the automotive industry and unions. Dan Kildee, U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 5th congressional district, has likewise been backed by the UAW. Neither items are scandalous, though they do paint a picture where legislators know exactly what their backers want to see happening in Washington if they’re to be elected again.

As I lack the ability to read minds, I cannot assume to know what their reasoning behind supporting the proposal was. But I don’t need to in order to have doubts about the bill itself. We’ve already spent vast amounts of money incentivizing people to buy electric vehicles and it’s starting to feel like additional payouts are just there to make things easier for the relevant corporations. Detroit automakers may have gigantic footprints in their home country but they’re also multinational organizations with facilities around the world. Having grown up in Michigan watching everyone’s parents get laid off, it’s often difficult to see them as the home team worthy of special privileges.

I am similarly inclined to agree that the plan severely discourages competitiveness. Knowing you can get 12 grand back (or potentially more with local incentives) on a vehicle is bound to influence purchasing decisions. Most people aren’t going to care which car is better when one of them is going to result in a juicy rebate. We’ve also been pursuing the free-money strategy for years, with the intent to limit it once EVs found their footing. But this new plan seeks to hit the reset button on that while pouring even more cash on the table, as environmental regulations becoming increasingly stringent. It seems wildly irresponsible and rather overbearing from my admittedly limited vantage point. I would much rather see money going exclusively toward supporting the ailing energy grid and installing charging points, guaranteeing good-paying American jobs while simultaneously preparing our infrastructure for more EVs.

Electric vehicles need to stand on their own at some point and we’re not even trying to pretend that’s the ultimate objective here. Elon Musk’s opinions on the proposals may be rooted in his own form of corporate greed (again, I cannot read minds). But his concerns remain valid. Passing this bill unfairly benefits specific automakers that have repeatedly taken advantage of American taxpayers and serves to elevate profits rather than product.

[Image: Architect of the Capitol]

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75 Comments on “Opinion: Elon Musk’s Criticisms of the EV Incentive Bill Are Valid...”


  • avatar
    BSttac

    Ford and GM paid for Biden to become president so now the Dems reward them. Not shocking, just pathetic. The real irony is all the jobs that the UAW will lose when we go EV as LG chem isn’t American last time I checked. Plus Biden will let them build everything in China or Mexico soon so kiss the small remaining job goodbye.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @BSttac: “Ford and GM paid for Biden to become president so now the Dems reward them.”

      Pardon me but … this is just plain bull. Why? Because GM, too, gets left out, while there is clearly an anti-Tesla sentiment in the bill as well. Pretty much every brand that has already surpassed that original 200,000-unit figure is, at best, getting a pittance while Tesla itself is flat shut out. It has nothing at all to do with unions, either, as many of those who are getting some benefit are at least getting pieces of the subsidy, even if not the whole benefit. This smacks a lot more of Big Oil influence more than just a Democratic one.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    Screw the unions and the big 3, I hope people wake up and see this government corruption for what it is. Both parties serve big corporations. The usa is not capitalist country, is a mafia full of monopoly’s that get rich with the help of politicians. Pathetic the national debt is out of control because of this lobbyists. No wonder china is now the most powerful country in the world. Since politicians and corporations sold the country to them.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Agree, most every law drafted has little to no merit based scrutiny. It is literally all just pandering to get re-elected. We need to get special interest money out of government….go to a draft system or something.

      Here is one of the takeaways from this article that really sticks out for me.

      “Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have claimed it’s the most direct way of ensuring EV adoption among low-income groups”

      The median household income in this country is like $65.000 per year. Low income groups can’t even dream of buying a F-150 Lightning, Hummer EV, Tesla, Rivian….heck, I doubt they could afford a Bolt even with the credit. Lets get real.

      I support the adoption of EV’s but the federal dollars should be spent on the infrastructure like charging networks, not as a handout to people who can already afford to buy a $50k plus new vehicle and certainly not more handouts to the UAW that keeps coming back to the trough because they haven’t received enough taxpayer money already.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        I wonder how many times in the last 100 years the lobbying industry has been either A) threatened, or B) seriously looked at as counterproductive.

        Tangentially, how would the process even begin or work? I’d LOVE to see lobbying- which, like unions, used to serve legitimate purposes and be useful, now largely only serve to fatten pockets and pander to bases, be (if nothing else) neutered.

        I am also not naïve enough to think that will ever happen. Too many politicians that would have to vote on them, get rich(er) off of them.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “The natural trajectory of any institution is towards corruption and incompetence.”

      – An old school sociologist

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    In the USA Republicans have traditionally done everything in their power to weaken and dismantle unions as well as worker rights. It’s all flowed from Post WW2 anti-communist and anti-socialist efforts that spilling over domestically from the cold war.
    Ironically, Mr. Posky has picked up championing workers rights but only when it applies to masks and vaccinations.

    Government passing legislation that favours unionized facilities is a decidedly aggressive step in the opposite direction. What’s stopping Tesla, Honda, and Toyota from unionizing? It doesn’t need to be with the UAW.

    Tax credits to buy vehicles are taboo but tax cuts that primarily benefit the 1% are okay?

    Someone needs to breakout the popcorn. Another 200 post clickfest coming up!

    • 0 avatar
      Dr.Nick

      “ What’s stopping Tesla, Honda, and Toyota from unionizing? It doesn’t need to be with the UAW.”

      The employees chose the union, not management.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “The employees chose the union, not management.”

        True but management does play a role in discouraging unionization.

        IIRC Honda and Toyota have factories in “right to work” states that are typically anti-union.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Lou_BC: “True but management does play a role in discouraging unionization.”

          The unions themselves play a role in discouraging management, as well. Over the decades, they’ve proven abusive to their host corporations, pushing costs up into prohibitive areas in multiple ways. They need to balance each other but just like politics, they keep pushing to greater and greater extremes.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – There is always a battle between union and management. The USA has traditionally being anti-union which is atypical for a democratic country. That’s why I’ve found it surprising that there was pro-union legislation such as this from the Whitehouse.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      This has nothing to do with workers rights and everything to do with the two car companies with major benefits from this bill. Maybe 3 companies if Stellantis actually sells a pure EV.

      As mentioned, the employees would choose to unionize or not and believe it or not, some employees don’t see any benefit to unionizing. So now the government is penalizing those workers for choosing not to.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “citing that the money coming from taxpayers”

    If it were a refundable credit I could see this argument but If I have a $27k federal income tax liability and it gets offset by a $12K EV tax credit, why would that not be considered me keeping my own money?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That’s exactly what’s going on – it’s a tax cut. But somehow this has become SOCCCCIALLLLIST (breath heavy when you say that word, by the way).

      I’d wonder why the GOP, which has never seen a tax cut it doesn’t like, has gone DEFCON 2 over this, but nothing makes sense in our Mirror Universe these days.

      But if Musk’s objection is to only union-made products getting this tax credit, then I think he’s on base.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Mike,

        The reason GOP is going ape is because they don’t get to take credit for a tax cut. It’s not their idea and it’s not their (primary) donors winning.

        It’s the labor unions and blue states that win on this. The graft on the left side of the ledger is something that GOP can’t wet their beaks with, so they whine like 2 year olds.

        It’s pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I freely admit my situation is different from most people’s (although I think a lot of blue-state professionals share it), but since I started working full-time, the only president to raise my federal income tax was a Republican (the orange one).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          SALT was the Uniparty bamboozling an inexperienced president. The result has been a proliferation of well heeled out of their coastal enclaves and into the heart of America, which first started in 2018, not 2020. In the long run it further skews the electorate and damages the other regions, my guess is they originally estimated five years to fully take effect which puts things in place right before the 2024 election cycle.

          My late 2016 prediction was a landslide in 2024 for the Dems who would run a Hispanic male. I also predicted a reelection and resignation (or death) halfway through the 20-24 term, which would have set up the VP for failure in 2024. Didn’t see a coup d’état in the works since the Dems knew they would have 2024, they either got very greedy or very desperate to enact things earlier than originally planned (Green Deal, massive welfare spending, Soviet Union style demolition of US empire). A few things come to mind as to why, Peak Oil, Grand Solar Minimum, but I’m leaning toward ISO 20022 as the big one. The Fed was on record as saying US citizens were going to “have accounts at the Fed” which were ostensibly to be used in an unemployment style situation (this was viewed as UBI by most). They also publicly commented on the People’s Bank of China’s scheme to introduce a digital Yuan which actually had expiration dates on them. ISO 20022 should allow for the same sort of thing, but on an international scale.

          “China is exploring expiration dates with its upcoming digital yuan, or DCEP, which means the currency will expire if not used in a certain timeframe.

          The digital yuan is programmable to the point that the currency can be made to expire, thus forcing consumers to use it up by a certain date. This is a twist on an obscure, unconventional monetary policy innovation known as a Gesell currency: expiring money, which gives the issuing government a heightened degree of control over money velocity.”

          https://bfsi.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/policy/digital-currency-yuan-comes-with-an-expiry-date-spend-or-it-will-vanish/82059471

          https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/07/01/what-will-be-impact-of-china-s-state-sponsored-digital-currency-pub-84868

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “supporters of the bill have claimed it’s the most direct way of ensuring EV adoption among low-income groups”

    Do low-income groups actually buy brand new cars, when ATPs are over $40k?

    “While his company (Tesla) has undoubtedly benefited more from EV tax rebates and carbon credits than any other manufacturer,”

    Not quite true: Since both Tesla and GM have exhausted their Federal tax rebate subsidy, they each benefited equally. That Tesla benefited more from the carbon credit scam is a function of various mfrs’ product portfolios.

    It’s also debatable how beneficial the subsidy actually was to Tesla. Did $7500 make or break the purchase decision on a car that (in the early days) cost $80-140k? The fact that Tesla’s sales have only *increased* after the subsidy ended in 2019 indicates they don’t need it any longer.

    The time for new EV subsidies is over. Just let the 2009 subsidy run its course with any mfr who wants to utilize it.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “The time for new EV subsidies is over.” I’m another EV supporter that agrees. In fact, Tesla is proof we don’t need them. Use to money to produce more material science engineers and chemical engineers as well.

      We need them for advancements in battery tech and to get the really awesome battery tech coming from the labs into mass production. I was looking at a white paper on a new material for electrode coatings and they were from a University in Korea.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        MCS >
        A lot of things are broken in this country. Material Science Study is one of them. For 20 years, I ve been on the Board of Directors for an Engineering Society in Material Science. We grant money to Universities and students in the MAT SCI course work. In that time the following schools have stopped seeking our money and Certification.
        Case Western
        Kettering
        Auburn
        Georgia Tech
        And other top tier schools. I wont bore you.

        The industry has collapsed 60% in the last 20 years. The vital core has been ripped out and now nothing but decay can follow. Thx China. And Clinton for most favored nations and WTO membership without any time limits or mileposts for full certification.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          I think material science is one of the most important and critical areas of engineering. Everything from building materials to medical applications and battery materials. Even semiconductor technology. If parents and the education system spent as much effort funding science clubs as they do trying to make everyone’s kid a professional athlete, this would be a very different country.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Thanks @redapple and @mcs for two intelligent posts. Check out the number of engineers that graduate each year in India and China and compare them to how many we are graduating in North America.

            I have coached competitive youth sports for decades. Used to be primarily ‘working class’ children. Now they are priced out of the sport. Surgeons, lawyers, banking/finance executives,
            those who have inherited ‘big money, and politicians, all want their children to be professional athletes and pay handsomely for private coaching, training, nutritionists and year long programs.

            Meanwhile ask local dealerships/garages how difficult it is to hire a new mechanic/technician. And try to get a qualified plumber, electrician or HVAC technician to come to your home. All trades that cannot be ‘offshored’.

          • 0 avatar
            redapple

            Arthur

            You want something interesting? Mexico graduates 2x engineers /year as the USA. (a country almost 1/3 our size.)

            (and they are good quality. I worked with dozens of them)

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Redapple, thanks I did not know that. Bodes well for their nations future, if the majority of them do not emigrate. I work with a number of Soviet trained engineers. Their ingenuity is incredible. Based on a TTAC article from last week and working with them, I may just purchase a Vostok watch. Even though I greatly dislike putting any money into Putin’s pocket.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Out of the engineers we’ve been graduating from US schools, many are foreign students. German and Chinese were at my son’s engineering college. At my son’s graduation, one thing I learned is that if you are going to be the one reading the names of the graduates, you’d better be good at pronouncing Asian names. I don’t attribute it to race, but to culture. I met many students and got to know their parents. They were of different races, but one commonality was a family culture that supported academics.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            People have been “brainwashed” to believe that any degree or trade that might get dirt under your finger nails is bad. We now have a shortage of professionals and tradesmen in those areas and a glut of Doctorates working as Walmart greeters.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @SCE to AUX: “Do low-income groups actually buy brand new cars, when ATPs are over $40k?”

      — The vast majority any more tend to lease new cars, not buy them. Lease rates tend to run monthly payments not quite half of purchase rates, with the lessor betting the vehicle will be worth more on the lease’s expiration than the lease payments will have paid on the principal. If they’re wrong, typically the lessee has to pay the difference but if their bet is right, the lessee does not receive the difference.

      Leases are another form of organized gambling, when it comes to something as “disposable” as a car.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Eliminate all EV incentives and tax the Shamoo out of vehicles that you want to discourage (large, over-powered). Do it by engine displacement with a 2X multiplier for turbo motors and encourage hybrid sales.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      You cant really do that off displacement and multipliers. Example: My 2.5L Ford Fusion only averages me around 20mpg in congested Hawaii traffic. My fleet 1.5 Ecoboost Escape averages me around 34mpg in the exact same traffic. My more efficient Escape would net me a higher tax amount.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      This is how they’re going to do it. Gas station reductions. Yes, ICE vehicle owners will begin to get introduced to the concept of range anxiety as time goes on.

      https://www.sonomacountygazette.com/sonoma-county-news/sonoma-county-is-one-step-closer-to-a-ban-on-new-gas-stations/

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/17/end-american-gas-station-ban

      https://electrek.co/2019/10/11/gas-pumps-disappearing-norway-electric-cars-taking-over/

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “as time goes on.”
        Time can take a long time though.

        wesh.com/article/bucees-daytona-beach-opening/35901819
        nj.com/business/2021/08/wawa-opening-2-more-nj-stores-this-week.html

        The Last Outlaw in his ’02 Grand Marquis might one day have a hard time finding fuel but the principles of supply and demand aren’t going to disappear either.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Yes, ICE vehicle owners will begin to get introduced to the concept of range anxiety as time goes on.”

        That pretty much confirms most of the claims of the wingnuts. Just because there are no walls or guard towers doesn’t mean you’re not in a prison.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Good grief. You’re not in prison because there’s not enough demand for gas anymore to keep a gas station every five blocks in business.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Drones.
            Phone tracking/phone app tracking.
            Listening devices such as Echo.
            Utility meters with internet access.
            Appliances with internet access (IoT).
            Website tracking/cookies etc.
            Newer cars recording audio/data.

            Now:

            “Yes, ICE vehicle owners will begin to get introduced to the concept of range anxiety”

            Then:

            Yes, homeowners will begin to get introduced to the concept of reduced utility usage.

            Yes, citizens will begin to get introduced to the concept of reduced food availability.

            Yes, citizens will begin to get introduced to the concept of reduced travel and other freedoms.

            Yes, citizens will begin to get introduced to the concept of a social credit score which all of the data being gathered will be used to tabulate. Then if they are caught speaking against the Party, they can be dealt with.

            Those are the places the psychopaths want to go probably by 2030. But no gilded cage here, nope not at all.

            https://www.expertinstitute.com/resources/insights/amazon-echo-expert-witness-murder-trial/

            https://www.wired.com/story/star-witness-your-smart-speaker/

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Do you have any evidence that any of these horribles you’re painting are actually going to happen here? Even under that orange guy, this is not Xi Jinping’s China.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is no real reason to set up this framework and not use it. Does a refrigerator NOT sell unless it has an Ipad glued to the front? Does an electric toothbrush NOT sell unless it has firmware (yes: https://iot.do/devices/oral-b-pro7000-smart-toothbrush)? Why in a “chip shortage” do things that do not and have never required “chips” have chips in them now? Cui bono?

            EV is another example, there is no economic reason for EV to exist, yet trillions have been spent on its development and its being pushed *hard*. Why? You may like EV, you may ignore all of the environmental hazards, but it is the answer to a question no one asked. This has been proven for years now, no one mainstream wanted one of these at all until Tesla made it “cool”, and even still its barely 2.3% of USDM. I said several years ago and I’ll say it again, they will achieve a market share increase by *shrinking* the overall USDM, not by a per unit increase over ICE. This or something similar is what the late Sergio Marchione was referring to with his merger and consolidation comments. Doesn’t really matter how it happens, “chip shortage”, diktats from unelected parties/agencies, massive propaganda, Green Police, ManBearPig, Keebler elves, alien invasion take your pick. They will not allow their trillion dollar project to be seen as the failure it is, other than saving face why is it so important? Cui bono?

            You don’t set up an interconnected network of everything in daily life unless you intend to use it. Children grow up and think its normal, and will demand it if it were to be taken away. Next decade or one after you’re living in an Orwellian wet dream but most of the population is on board with it. Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Dal, You’re not aware of what can get you cancelled online?

            Tow the line or you’re booted for good. I’m guessing it’s likely you cheered Trump’s booting from Twitter, but tomorrow will you shake a fist at the next person to be memory holed? Maybe someone you agree with? A doctor, for example?

            Remember a year ago when saying the mysterious virus of unknown origin was actually cooked up in a Wuhan lab would get you cancelled, shunned, fired, harassed, etc?

            Test my theory: Make the suggestion that the vaccines are leaky in a crowd next time you’re in one. Or better yet, tell that same group that anyone under 18 is at so low risk of dying from Covid that the risk analysis of giving kids the vaccine make it harder to justify doing so unless they have significant health risks.

            https://www.covkidproject.org/deaths

            When did it become acceptable (or good science) to silence questioning?

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ Or better yet, tell that same group that anyone under 18 is at so low risk of dying from Covid that the risk analysis of giving kids the vaccine make it harder to justify doing so unless they have significant health risks.

            https://www.covkidproject.org/deaths

            When did it become acceptable (or good science) to silence questioning?”

            Because the goal is to advance an Orwellian agenda versus making life better/easier/etc. Covid was used to amass massive amounts of power. If liberals had their way they would release a virus like that every decade just to get more power. Deep down they loathe Trump because he had the audacity to develop 3 vaccines to try and stop it.

            They use junk science to push an agenda. Global warming didn’t work so they switched to climate change. People saw right through that and the fact all of their claims turned out to be false so they had to come up with something else. And their pal over in China did them a solid by releasing the virus from a lab.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have claimed it’s the most direct way of ensuring EV adoption among low-income groups and will likely speed up the nation’s transition to alternative energy vehicles.”

    This is the biggest line of BS. Low income groups do not want EVs (sparse charging networks, lengthy recharges, cost of entry, etc) and if the libs were truly concerned about transitioning to dirty electrics, they would not include this:

    “The government has added another $4,500 incentive atop electric vehicles coming out of facilities where workers are unionized.”

    If given the choice, I’d much rather have my taxes go to subsidizing a new $20K compact car or small SUV than these “road to nowhere” dirty electric compliance vehicles. Getting low income groups out of cars and SUVs in disrepair from the 90s and into a modern, safe, and amazingly efficient vehicle is far more reasonable.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The whole thing is being made overly complicated.

    The US uses about 145 billion gallons of gas and 45 billion gallons of diesel every year. Round up and call it 200 billion total. The US adult population is about 200 million. Slap a $1 per gallon tax on fuel. Cut a check for $1000 to every tax paying adult every year.

    You drive a 30 mpg car 12,000 miles per year? You’re coming out ahead by $600. You drive a 12 mpg truck 40,000 miles per year? You’re paying $2300 extra. Ride a bike or take mass transit everyday? Congrats. Buy a lot of Chinese stuff shipped in semis? Maybe some locally made American stuff will start looking better.

    Revenue neutral, easy to implement, would do more than anything imaginable to affect people’s vehicle choices, and probably improve society. But of course it’s not putting the government thumb on the scale for favored companies or constituencies, so it will never happen.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      That’s what Canada is doing. But the tax is relatively low – in the context of gas prices that have swung by almost 50% in recent years. So no driving patterns are really changed – we still buy more pickups (on a per capita basis) than Americans.

  • avatar

    Hail Buratino in WH! UAW will live another day! Don’t buy American and you will be okay.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Timing is everything. I doubt the UAW would even exist today if Obama had not been elected and his “car czar” saved their @ss. Now that Obama’s caddy is POTUS, the union gets another bon bon.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      History books tell me that the auto bailouts were begun under some guy named George W. Bush, not Obama.

      Bush was wise enough to understand saving jobs – union and non-union – was the point.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Lol. GM and Chrysler (as it was) wouldn’t exist without Bush, Obama and his car czar. Personally I remain against the bailout. F*** em if you’ve over decades whittled away at the quality and desirability of your cars.

      I respect Ford and Mullaly for hocking everything in sight and crawling out of the wreckage without declaring bankruptcy. Sure they got some $$ too, but they survived with their dignity intact and they’re the only domestic brand I’d consider (if they could only get their launch product right…I’m really keen on the new Maverick).

      Regarding Musk’s feel-feels, as much $$$ he’s made off the public teat leaves him NO room to criticize.

      And I’m ok with the “big 2.5” receiving EV incentives.

  • avatar
    Greg Hamilton

    Dimitry Orlov had this to say about the United States:

    “The United States can best be described as a singular, highly integrated, systemically corrupt scheme.”

    I am not saying I agree with this, I am just throwing it out there for general discussion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Orlov_(writer)

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Are we trying to push EV’s or are we trying to push unions? If you want to join a union, fine but I don’t see why it should effect my tax bill one cent.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @EBFlex–One of the few times I agree with you. It would be better to subsidize more affordable, efficient, and safer vehicles for lower income to get the older less efficient and dirty vehicles off the road. Maybe subsidize a cheaper hybrid car and crossover in the 20k range. Maybe have a clunker program for the older dirty and less efficient vehicles.

    I do think the Government could subsidize expanding the power grid and having more charging stations. That would be much better than subsidizing the purchases of EVs by more affluent people.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @JeffS What you are describing is best addressed by a reliable, affordable and safe public transit system Something that most 1st world nations outside of North America have invested in.

  • avatar
    BobNelson

    Why are the “incentives” always in the form of “tax credits”? They are no incentive at all for people who pay no taxes in the US. I lived all my adult/professional life in France, paid my taxes there, and now draw my retirement there. So an American “tax credit” is worthless. (This is also the case for low-income, low-taxpaying people… but hey! those folks get screwed all the time, so they’re used to it!)

    Why not just have the government pay part of the purchase price? Oh, wait… that would be too simple.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Since “BEV adoption” is, literally, nothing other than another crass excuse to have government rob some to pay others, I suppose it’s not surprising to see the usual gaggle of value destroying leeches engaged in nothing more productive than screeching Daddy should rob them, them, them, and give the loot to me, me, me! More! Meee!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The Chinese Communist Party will laugh all the way to the bank on this one. They get to manufacture the battery cells for the majority of our EVs, while growing their economy by burning cheap American coal.

    And when all these batteries die, we can ship them over to the Philippines where teenage boys will pick through piles of them, harvesting the copper and any other valuable materials.

    All so soccer moms can feel like they’re saving the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “All so soccer moms can feel like they’re saving the planet.”

      Nothing to do with saving the planet. EVs are flat out better to drive than ICE-powered cars. They’re smooth as silk, quiet, and you don’t have the nasty torque-lag you get with an ICE.

      “They get to manufacture the battery cells for the majority of our EVs,”
      With all of the battery plants that are being built here in the US, that won’t be the case.

      “And when all these batteries die, ”

      No, that’s happening here too. In Nevada.
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2021/03/25/tesla-cofounders-battery-recycling-startup-ties-up-with-top-us-e-waste-processor/?sh=191757ed595e

      “All so soccer moms can feel like they’re saving the planet.”
      Yeah, I know I already listed it, but it’s so ridiculous I have to save it again. Drive an EV. It’s so much better. Ignore all of the environmental stuff and the politics. These things are fantastic to drive. They’re the modern version of the V8/V12 engine option.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Mr Self abuse > Agreed. PS – the coal will be even CHEAPER. Stupid first worlders wont be using it.

        MCS> Even Michael Moore laughs at the eco rush to BEV. See his movie “Planent of the Humans.”

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Depends on what sort of driving you enjoy. Yes, the weight is low but at the end of the day you are still trying to make a vehicle handle that weighs more than my F150 Super Crew. If you are a fan of the attributes of an EV, they are nice and they a certainly wonderful commuters. Additionally if you like to drive fast 1/4 mile at a time they are great. But if you prefer a lighter more nimble driver, they aren’t there yet.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      “The Chinese Communist Party will laugh all the way to the bank on this one. They get to manufacture the battery cells for the majority of our EVs, while growing their economy by burning cheap American coal.”

      This is utter bullsh!t. China imports coal from closer sources than USA.
      From:

      Chinapower.csis.org/energy-footprint/

      China fulfills its demand for coal by purchasing it from regional neighbors. In 2019, about 96.3 percent of China’s coal imports came from Australia (77 million metric tons), Indonesia (47.8 million metric tons), Mongolia (36.1 million tons), and Russia (29.2 million metric tons). Prior to 2017, North Korea was China’s fourth largest coal supplier, ahead of Indonesia and Mongolia. Due to the implementation of UN sanctions on North Korea, China has suspended all coal imports from the regime. As a result, China has shifted to rely more on Russia and Mongolia to fulfill its coal needs.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        That explains their anger over those submarines we are going to sell the Aussies. This is a positive…in the event of a shooting war freighters hauling coal are slow and easy targets and for all their bluster, the U.S. Navy is still unrivaled in the world.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Art Vandelay – many whine about dependence on China’s products but how much of it can we do without? As you point out, China imports coal but also import’s all sorts of other items. They then need to ship what they make to the rest of the world. It isn’t all that hard to shut down. The USA’s air force and navy could lockdown any open ocean.

        • 0 avatar

          I find it tragic that Italian and Australian companies are designing US battleships. When I read that I was shocked!!

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “Italian and Australian companies are designing US battleships.”

            Is the paper dated 1935? The battleship era didn’t last past the middle of the 20th century. Battleships have either been scrapped or are museum ships.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree with Master Baiter but I do understand what mcs is stating. I think once the infrastructure has been expanded to support EVs, less expensive and lighter batteries have been created, and more EVs are on the road there will be less talk of the green credentials and more about the driving experience of EVs. There will always be some that do not want to buy EVs. I myself would rather wait some more time till there are more EVs available and EVs are priced to be more competitive with ICE. Each of us has our reasons to buy a certain type of vehicle and some of us are late adopters. I am usually a late adopter when it comes to technology such as smart phones, dvd players, CDs (which are disappearing), flat screen LCD TVs, and a few other things. Usually the quality of an item and the price become more competitive once the technology has been available for a number of years.

    Some are also turned off when too much of the being green is crammed down our throats and we are made to feel guilty about driving what we want. Not everyone who drives a pickup or suv is anti-environmental or a bad person. Some of us drive large trucks and some of us drive other types and sizes of vehicles. Each one of us has a choice and those who try to run guilt trips will not convince others to their viewpoints. Not saying that this is true of the comments in this section but many of us have experienced this. I am willing to look at the positives as well as the negatives of something but I do not like something crammed down my throat.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    If I’m reading this correctly the authors of this bill want tax subsidies for EVs made by either unionized US workers or Mexican workers.

    Non-union workers/taxpayers get to pay for it – and that’s about it.

    We have a mafia running this country now – but hey – at least the orange man isn’t tweeting any longer.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, it’s pretty obvious why Musk doesn’t like this bill – it makes it easier to buy stuff from his competitors.

    Still, his “this is a giveaway to unions” criticism is valid – if a credit is applied, it needs to be the same across the board. And not giving the full credit to a non-union-made car does nothing but put the foreign-based manufacturers who build a TON of cars here at a disadvantage.

    I’m not a UAW or union basher by any means, but if it wants to remain relevant and perhaps expand its’ influence, it’s going to need to do it by “selling” itself better.

    And I’ll go one step further and say that this is just one more reason why I think it’s time to completely reform campaign finance and lobbying. This all amounts to legalized bribery and it has to stop.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Has anyone taken the gross amount of the new credits (the amount tied to union jobs) and divided by the number of union employees assembling EV’s in the U.S.?

    Could be an interesting exercise.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Things I don’t remember reading about this proposal:

    • “$500 credit for using U.S.-made batteries”

    • “The bill also does away with phasing out tax credits after automakers hit 200,000 electric vehicles sold”

    • “The bill also proposes… a $2,500 credit for used EVs.”

    https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/toyota-says-us-ev-bill-gives-exorbitant-tax-breaks-wealthy-2021-09-13/

    (That third one has my attention.)

  • avatar
    Roader

    It’s payback time:

    Unions spent big to boost Biden. Will he return the favor?
    ‘OpenSecrets’, February 19, 2021

    Labor organizations contributed $27.5 million to Biden’s campaign and other groups that supported him. His opponent, former President Donald Trump, took in less than $360,000 from those with labor ties.

    Now, almost a month into his presidency, Biden is poised to make good on his campaign promises to workers and unions. On Tuesday, he hosted 10 union leaders at the White House to discuss his hallmark America Rescue Plan and infrastructure projects.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Something like 14.6 million union workers in the U.S.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_unions_in_the_United_States

      So Biden is only worth 2 bucks a head?

      (400,000 active UAW members; 115,500 active UAW members with GM/Ford/Stellantis)

      [$27.5M / 115,500 = $238 which is probably a meaningless number but could still be a relative bargain]

  • avatar

    Tesla can count its blessing that their domestic competition is poor. The Bolt’s main claim to fame, besides awful sales, is that it catches fire! Even the Nissan leaf is pulling ahead of the hapless Bolt. Why would anyone buy a vehicle, which could burn their home down?

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