Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Gary Peters (D-MI) in introducing the Driving America Forward Act, legislation to expand the electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell tax credits.
Under current law, consumers may receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 if they purchase an eligible electric vehicle. However, the tax credits begin to phase out permanently once automakers sell over 200,000 units. This bipartisan bill would raise the cap and allow an additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer to be eligible for the tax credit.
“In less than four years, the number of Mainers who own electric cars has more than doubled. This legislation would continue the momentum towards cleaner transportation and help tackle harmful transportation emissions, which produce more than half of Maine’s carbon pollution and threaten our public health, natural resources, and economy,” said Senator Collins. “I encourage our colleagues to join us in supporting the Driving America Forward Act to extend tax credits for electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and make these vehicles more affordable to consumers.”
Sales of electric vehicles increased by more than 80 percent in 2018 and two manufacturers have already hit the lifetime cap of 200,000 units. Under current law, after an automaker sells 200,000 qualifying vehicles, consumers are eligible to receive the full value of the $7,500 tax credit through the calendar quarter after the cap is hit. The value of the credit to consumers from this automaker then decreases to 50% and 25% over the next 12 months before being phased out entirely.
The Driving America Forward Act would raise the cap by allowing purchasers of an additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer to be eligible for a $7,000 tax credit. Consumers can receive the full value of a $7,000 credit through the calendar quarter after the 600,000th vehicle is sold. The value of the credit to consumers from the automaker then decreases to 50% before being phased out entirely after six months. The bill maintains the $7,500 tax credit for the first 200,000 units sold.
This bipartisan bill would also extend the hydrogen fuel cell credit for ten years, through 2028.
The Driving America Forward Act is supported by 60 organizations, including ABB Inc., Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Alliance to Save Energy, American Lung Association, Association of Global Automakers, BMW of North America, CalStart, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, CERES, Charge Forward LLC, ChargePoint, ChargeUp Midwest, Clean Fuels Michigan, Consumers Energy, Copper Development Association, DTE, Eaton, Ecology Center, Edison Electric Institute, Electrify America, Electric Auto Association, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Electric Vehicle Charging Association, eMotorWerks, an Enel Group Company, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law and Policy Center, EV Drive Coalition, EVgo, FCA US, Ford Motor Company, FORTH, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, General Motors Company, Greenlots, Honda North America Inc., ITC Holdings Corp., League of Conservation Voters, Lyft, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, NAFA Fleet Management Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nissan North America, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Plug In America, Rivian, Securing America’s Future Energy, SemaConnect, Siemens Corporation USA, Sierra Club, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TE Connectivity, Tesla Inc., The Nature Conservancy, Toyota Motor North America, Union of Concerned Scientists, Volkswagen Group of America, and Volta.
“This bill will help Ford grow our electrified vehicle portfolio, which includes iconic models our customers know and love,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President, Global Operations. “Ford is investing $11 billion in electrified vehicles through 2022. Expanding the existing framework gives our U.S. plants the ability to produce smarter, fuel-efficient vehicles for years to come. It also ensures that American manufacturers can stay competitive in this new automotive era.”
“General Motors believes in an all-electric, zero-emissions future. We are dedicating significant resources and investments to manufacturing and infrastructure here in the United States to drive that vision,” said Mark Reuss, President, General Motors. “We appreciate the support and leadership of the Senators and Representatives; the EV tax credit provides customers with a proven incentive as we work to establish the U.S. as a leader in electrification.”
“These credits accelerate the growth of the U.S. electric vehicle market which helps protect our air and environment while at the same time boosting American clean vehicle innovation and manufacturing jobs,” said Luke Tonachel, Director, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Group, Natural Resources Defense Council. “We are pleased to see bipartisan support for these related goals and hope this proposal will quickly pass.”
“The future is electric. Electric vehicles are much cleaner and cheaper to operate, and we need to help more people enjoy the benefits of this emerging technology,” said Michelle Robinson, Director of the Clean Vehicles Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We applaud this bipartisan effort to invest in a strong and growing electric vehicle market.”
“As a leader in electrification and high power electric vehicle charging systems, ABB supports the Driving America Forward Act, which keeps the U.S. on the forefront of automotive technology,” said Jim Creevy, Vice President, Government Relations, ABB Inc. "This bill ensures more vehicle choices at lower cost, enabling all Americans to choose the car that is the best fit for them, while continuing to drive innovation in one of America’s core industries.”