A bill to remove the 200,000-vehicle cap for electric car manufacturers and extend the $7,500 tax credit for new EVs until 2028 gained more supporters recently, with Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) and Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) signing as cosponsors of H.R.6274, also known as the Electric CARS Act of 2018.
The Electric CARS Act of 2018 was initially proposed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) on June 28, 2018, right at the time when Tesla was closing in on delivering its 200,000th vehicle in the United States. Under H.R.6274, the present $7,500 tax credit given to buyers of new electric cars would be extended all the way up to 2028. Electric car makers such as Tesla would also not be faced with the 200,000-vehicle limit that triggers a tax credit phase-out. Tax credits will also be given for the electric cars’ charging stations.
While a 10-year extension of the $7,500 tax credit is a welcome improvement over the previous system, what is really quite impressive with H.R.6274 is the fact that buyers of electric cars would be able to use the amount as a direct rebate for their vehicles upon purchase. This means that car buyers could get an immediate discount for their vehicle, instead of waiting until taxes are filed before receiving their electric car’s $7,500 tax credit. Such a system would make quality electric cars such as the Standard Range RWD Tesla Model 3, which is priced at $35,000 before options, attainable to an even bigger demographic.
When Congressman Welch unveiled H.R.6274 last June, he noted that the United States must transition to a form of transportation that reduces greenhouse emissions in the country.
“Transportation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse emissions in the United States. It is urgent that we transition to cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. We are in a race for the winner of the technology for electric vehicles, and this credit is going to help spur that,” he said.
Rep. Welch reiterated these points in a recent interview with Alex Guberman of YouTube’s E for Electric channel, where he discussed his motivations for H.R.6274. According to Rep. Welch, the demand for electric cars and a recognition for change in transportations is emerging, and the benefits won’t stop there.
“What I am seeing is, among some of my colleagues, a recognition that the people they represent want an electric vehicle. And, there is real potential job growth if we can give a boost to the electric vehicle industry,” Welch said.
The Electric CARS Act of 2018 currently has four cosponsors, with Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) and Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) joining Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Rep. Jacky Rosen(D-NV), who supported the bill the day it was proposed. As of date, H.R.6274 has been referred to the House Committee of Ways and Means.
Tesla recently announced that it has sold its 200,000th vehicle in the United States this July. With the announcement, the $7,500 tax credit under the current system is now on a phase-out period, with buyers who receive their vehicles until the end of Q4 2018 being the final batch of Tesla owners who would be eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit. After December, the federal tax credit is set to be reduced by half to $3,750 from Q1 to Q2 2019, followed by another reduction to $1,875 from Q3 to Q4 2019. Under the current system, Tesla’s vehicles delivered after Q4 2019 would not be eligible for any tax credits at all.
Watch Rep. Peter Welch’s interview in E for Electric in the video below.