EV Tax Credit Changes Have Shuffled EV Sales Rankings
Changes in the EV tax credit rules have been confusing and made it hard to determine which cars are eligible for credits. Some automakers argued that the rules would unfairly harm their business and ability to compete, and we’re now starting to see how some of the changes are shaking out. Automotive News reported that the top eight EVs in the U.S. in January were built in North America, while Hyundai and Kia fell back.
U.S. Treasury Bows to Industry Pressure On EV Tax Credit Scheme
The United States Department of the Treasury appears to have caved after receiving sustained pressure from the auto lobby, modifying how vehicles are classified in the updated EV tax credit scheme in a manner designed to make more vehicles eligible. Rather than leaning on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, the Treasury has said it will instead use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fuel Economy Labeling standard to determine when a vehicle is an SUV, pickup, sedan, or van.
Tesla Quietly Bumps Model Y Prices by $500 After Slashing Thousands Off the MSRP Earlier This Year
Tesla made waves when it slashed prices earlier this month, but it appears the fluctuations aren’t finished. The automaker cut Model Y prices by $13,000 earlier in January but recently re-raised the price by $500.
Sen. Manchin Proposes Bill to Force Treasury to Finalize EV Tax Credit Guidance
Despite the United States having an entirely new EV tax credit scheme under the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), there’s nobody adhering to it right now. That’s because the Treasury Department decided to delay issuing specific guidance on battery matters until March, nullifying any restrictions based on content requirements. While this means more automakers have been able to take advantage of government subsidies, it also means they haven’t been required to follow any of the stipulations outlined in the IRA for 2023.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) believes this is unacceptable and has advanced legislation that would effectively force the U.S. Treasury to do its job.
Japan Says America’s Updated EV Tax Credits Are Illegal
Following the passing of the U.S. “ Inflation Reduction Act,” South Korea came to the defense of Hyundai Motor Group to urge America to postpone things until the automaker completed a facility in Georgia intended to manufacture all-electric vehicles. Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun had reportedly expressed serious concerns that revamping and renewing the EV credit scheme disproportionately advantaged certain manufacturers – sending the Korea Automotive Industry Alliance into lobbying overdrive.
Automakers Still Dissatisfied, Lobbying Continues
Automakers are growing concerned about the future now that it looks like people have finally reached their breaking point in regard to elevated vehicle pricing. While the industry is citing inflation in the general sense, the truth of the matter is that companies’ own inability to manufacture vehicles and parts at anything approaching a normal pace resulted in price increases that vastly outpaced the devaluation of your preferred currency. This was made far worse by dealerships affixing their own markups to just about every model that compares favorably to walking.
U.S. Senate Preps More Money for Auto Industry
Senate Democrats have settled on how to funnel more money into the automotive sector using all-electric vehicles and environmentalism. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia's Joe Manchin have reportedly agreed on a proposal that would expand the $7,500 tax credit for EVs while also introducing a new $4,000 subsidy for used models.
But that's just to kick things off. The legislative package is likewise said to include $369 billion that's been earmarked for climate and energy spending. For automakers, that means massive financial help from the government whenever they want to convert their existing factories into the kind that build all-electric vehicles. Though it may not be limited to EVs, as the updated language now makes fuel cell vehicles similarly eligible for the proposed industry subsidization.
White House Invites Auto Execs to Endorse Build Back Better
The White House has made plans to host American business executives — including numerous CEOs tied to the automotive sector — in an effort to gain support for the stalled Build Back Better agenda. The meeting is scheduled to take place today, with President Joe Biden and company hoping to convince them to get behind the (revised) $1.75 trillion spending bill after it passed in the House but never made it through the Senate.
Seats have already been reserved for General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Jim Farley, and Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger. The rest are going to heads of manufacturing and technology companies, with a few noteworthy outliers. For example, the Biden administration has also invited the president of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and the CEO of Siemens (a multinational entity that’s not based in the United States). Based on earlier statements from White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the meetings will take place in-person, bucking the Biden administration’s trend of hosting virtual events.
Toyota Nearing Federal EV Tax Credit Quota
Toyota Motor Corp. looks to be the next automaker that will have exhausted its allotment of EV tax credits for the U.S. market.
While the quota for $7,500 rebates has already been reached by Tesla and General Motors, Toyota is closing in with 190,000 plug-in sales of its own. The government has limited federally backed incentives to just 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. Once the Japanese manufacturer reaches that limit, credits go into a cool-down period where it can continue benefiting from the full sum six months after the relevant quarter ends. From there, incentives will be halved for the next two quarters until the company is no longer eligible.
Chevrolet Announces $30,000 Electric Equinox at CES 2022
General Motors CEO Mary Barra made a slew of product announcements during CES 2022, with the biggest being an update on the Silverado EV. However, Chevrolet will need to fill out its ranks if it’s to become a totally electrified brand as planned, resulting in the confirmation of electric variants of the Equinox and Blazer.
With modestly sized crossovers and SUVs still gaining ground in North America, Barra believes it makes good sense to electrify a couple in the assumption that the segment will have a larger pool of customers to draw from. But there’s precious little detail about either model, minus GM’s promise to launch both models by 2023 and sell the Equinox EV for around $30,000.
GM CEO Says Incentives May Help America Transition to EVs
General Motors CEO Mary Barra has chimed in on the weeklong open discussion about whether or not it’s a good idea for America to embrace the Biden administration’s EV tax credit plan, which just so happens to be deeply intertwined with the Build Back Better Act’s cavalcade of federal initiatives.
As we’ve already covered the topic more than once, we’ll avoid the recap and simply post the relevant links where Tesla CEO Elon Musk recommended pitching the entire bill into the trash and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg went to bat for the White House by suggesting the updated tax scheme was a necessity for electrification to thrive. Barra opted to go with the latter take, stating that it could help accelerate EV adoption.
Buttigieg Issues Rebuttal to Elon Musk Regarding EV Subsidies
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has responded to criticisms Elon Musk has made about the Biden administration’s plan for electric vehicle subsidies.
The Tesla CEO believes the Obama-era EV tax credits were more than sufficient, with his own company serving as physical proof, and suggested the entire Build Back Better Act be tossed into the toilet. But Secretary Buttigieg said it was a necessary item if the United States hoped to advance electrification, swiftly transition away from combustion vehicles, and escape the perils of climate change (formerly known as global warming).
Elon Musk Continues Insulting Biden Admin's EV Tax Credit Scheme
Elon Musk has continued bashing the Biden administration’s tax credit legislation designed to spur electric vehicle adoption, this time suggesting that the entire bill be scrapped. Included as part of the Build Back Better Act that’s focused on addressing various social, infrastructure, and climate issues, Musk suggested the entire text simply be done away.
“Honestly, I would just can this whole bill,” he stated at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, appearing remotely from Tesla’s construction site in Austin, Texas.
Tesla Hits Delivery Threshold for Juicy Federal Tax Credit
Tesla Motors announced Thursday that it officially reached 200,000 deliveries this month, which is good news in terms of overall sales. But the figure also means the company has surpassed the threshold requiring that federal tax credits be phased out, which is bad news.
Some speculate that, without government incentives, fewer people will be willing to buy Tesla-branded vehicles. While that’s a possibility, the brand offers unique, trendy models not readily available elsewhere. We’d presume a discount on an iPhone would probably help sales as well, but affordability it isn’t the main reason people purchase them.
We’ll see what kind of impact it has on the automaker as the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit for new owners is gradually phased out. It will also be telling for the electric vehicle market as a whole, as Tesla is the first EV producer to reach the limit.