Investor's Corner

Why new EV incentives are the nail in the coffin for ICE manufacturers

Credit: Tesla, Motortrend, Porsche, Ford, Rivian | Meridian Audio, General Motors

The newly-revised electric vehicle incentive program, which is a part of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, could officially spell the end of the combustion engine era in the American automotive industry. The new EV tax credit breakdown could award as much as $12,500 for an EV purchase, but that’s not the best part. As the EV industry continues to embrace new vehicle styles and expand to more consumers, the language in the bill reflects new body types and supports domestic manufacturing. Additionally, vehicles purchased from a unionized plant will provide an extra $4,500, with $500 more if US-produced batteries are used in the car.

Currently, $7,500 is offered to anyone who purchases an EV from a company in the United States that has not sold at least 200,000 units. GM and Tesla are the two manufacturers who are currently disqualified from utilizing the EV incentive because they have surpassed the 200k vehicle threshold.

Over the past several days, more details regarding the EV tax credit have been detailed, especially as revisions to the bill were made just a few days ago to include trucks, SUVs, and vans. Additionally, new income eligibility requirements have been lowered, which will disqualify more people from receiving the credit.

$12,500 EV Tax Credit included in revised Biden Build Back Better plan

Vehicle Type Price Caps

The latest modifications to the bill include price caps for body styles. SUVs up to $80,000 will now qualify, increased from the previous $69,000 cap. Trucks have also been increased to $80,000 from $74,000, and vans up to $80,000 in price will also now qualify. Sedans are included in the “Other” category and will be eligible at $55,000 and under.

Electric trucks will be a significant part of the U.S. EV market in the coming years. With Rivian beginning initial deliveries of the R1T earlier this month, the company will have to fend off stiff competition from the Ford F-150 Lightning, the GMC Hummer EV, and the Tesla Cybertruck. This market will become more robust in the coming years as pre-orders for the F-150 Lightning have reached 160,000, and the Cybertruck has peaked at 1.5 million reservations.

Income Limitation Revisions

Income limits have been lower to $500,000 for joint families, $375,000 for the head of household, and $250,000 for individual filers. These are relatively drastic reductions, especially as single filers were eligible with incomes of up to $400,000, and joint filers were not disqualified until the $800,000 yearly income mark. After all, the bill does state that the incentive is to make EVs more affordable for middle-class Americans.

The White House writes:

“The consumer rebates and credits included in the Build Back Better framework will save the average American family hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.  These measures include enhancement and expansion of existing home energy and efficiency tax credits, as well as the creation of a new, electrification-focused rebate program.  The framework will cut the cost of installing rooftop solar for a home by around 30 percent, shortening the payback period by around 5 years; and the framework’s electric vehicle tax credit will lower the cost of an electric vehicle that is made in America with American materials and union labor by $12,500 for a middle-class family. In addition, the framework will help rural communities tap into the clean energy opportunity through targeted grants and loans through the Department of Agriculture.”

Used EVs now Qualify

Used EVs will also now qualify for the tax credit at a slightly reduced rate. According to CNET, the legislation in the Affordable EVs for Working Families Act will provide up to $2,500 for an individual filing their taxes who drives a used EV and has an income of less than $75,000 per year. Joint filers will have to make under $150,000 to qualify, and the EV has to be at least two years old and cost under $25,000 to qualify.

The Nail in the Coffin for ICE

It is no secret that EVs will begin to displace a significant number of ICE vehicles on the road in the coming years. While many manufacturers have announced plans to scrap ICE production altogether, goals and timelines are not always met. However, incentivizing consumers to purchase electric vehicles is a great way to surge the EV movement forward. Seeing that many families and individuals will qualify for hefty tax credits worth various amounts, more consumers may tend to lead toward the quickly-growing EV sector.

Now that incentives have been announced for additional body styles, the expansion of the EV sector is providing more options for consumers who need more than a daily driver to accomplish everyday tasks. With the introduction of several electrified pickups and SUVs, consumers can consider more versatility, as the need for a pickup or SUV for personal reasons is no longer an excuse not to buy electric.

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Why new EV incentives are the nail in the coffin for ICE manufacturers
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