|Automakers make final plea for more EV tax credits|
Shifting political winds during the U.S. November mid-term elections could spell trouble for automakers' hopes of getting billions of dollars in consumer tax credits that would help the United States compete with Chinese and European rivals. General Motors, Ford, Stellantis and Toyota have pledged to invest more than $170bn through 2030 to bolster EV development, production and sales. They are making a final effort to convince Congress to approve an extension of EV incentives before Republicans, who are largely opposed to doling out EV subsidies, could potentially take over both houses of Congress next year. Without those incentives, particularly an extension of a $7,500 EV purchase tax credit, the U.S. auto industry will fall behind on the Biden administration's goal of 50% EV sales by 2030, auto executives, lawmakers and consultants say. In January, the 14 Republicans on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee harshly criticized proposed EV tax credit expansions, pointing to data suggesting "that nearly 80% of the existing EV tax credits have gone to taxpayers earning more than $100,000." Republican Senator Deb Fischer, who wants to limit tax credits to those earning less than $100,000 and to vehicles costing less than $40,000, questioned "why we're subsidizing this industry at all" and said lawmakers should deny "taxpayer subsidies for the rich." Michigan Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow said Fischer's proposal would mean the Ford and Chevrolet electric pickup trucks made in her state would not be eligible for credits. Automakers and their supporters are now holding intensive discussions on Capitol Hill to try to win support, with backing from the White House, said U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat whose southeast Michigan district is in the state's automotive heartland.