Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow successfully opposed a proposal by fellow Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia to eliminate certain electric vehicle models from being eligible for the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) $7,500 tax credit.
The $430-billion Inflation Reduction Act was passed last August. While the IRA offers incentives that companies like Tesla no longer have access to today, the legislation limits the availability of the program’s $7,500 EV tax credit to those manufactured in North America. It also introduced new regulations for sourcing EV batteries.
Last month, the US Treasury stated that it would not release proposed guidance on battery sourcing regulations until March. This meant that some electric vehicles that do not fully meet the IRA’s battery requirements could continue to be eligible for tax credits, at least until the rules take effect this year. Senator Manchin took issue with this system.
Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, proposed legislation that would make the IRA’s battery tax credit requirements retroactive to January 1. “China has cornered the electric vehicle supply chain market,” the Senator said, stating that the US treasury is “continuing to let the $7,500 credit go without any concerns at all about the critical mineral requirements.”
Manchin’s efforts had some support, with Republican Senator Mike Braun agreeing with the proposal. Manchin and Braun aimed to get unanimous consent to pass the proposed legislation, but they were blocked by Stabenow’s opposition. Stabenow noted that the IRA’s EV tax credit is complicated, and it “doesn’t work for several years for American companies.” The Senator also highlighted that carmakers “need more time to meet battery sourcing requirements.”
“It is not unreasonable what Treasury is doing… they have been given an incredibly complicated task to try to figure out how this consumer credit will work,” Stabenow said.
In a statement to Reuters, Stabenow noted that Manchin’s proposal “would literally take away credits from people who are buying cars today.” She also noted that “Fundamentally, (Manchin) is not a fan of EVs.”