Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso has introduced a bill, the Fairness For Every Driver Act, that would repeal the electric vehicle tax credit. The credit has been around since the early nineties and gives buyers up to $7,500 off an electric car.
The goal is to incentivize people to buy vehicles that are better for the environment, despite the steeper upfront cost. But Barrasso said taxpayers have helped prop up electric vehicles long enough.
“There is now a stable and sustainable electric vehicle market in the United States so I think taxpayers ought to be off the hook,” he said.
His bill would repeal the incentives, while imposing a federal highway user fee for alternative fuel vehicles. Barrasso said that’s because all cars have an impact on the road.
“These vehicles on the road have the same impact of any other vehicle, same weight,” he said.
Overall, Barrasso said his bill would save taxpayers billions of dollars.
But Raejean Fellows, president of the non-profit advocacy group, the Electric Auto Association, said it’s particularly important to keep this emission-reducing credit in place given the recent UN climate change report.
“This is an urgent matter, we need to help with every incentive possible,” she said.
Fellows said gas cars aren’t just harmful to the atmosphere, but emit toxins that cause asthma and lung disease. She doesn’t think electric vehicles should be politicized.
“This would be like Republicans and Democrats taking opposing views on whether to have a landline or a cell phone. It's just a better technology,” she said.
Fellows said it’s still not on a level playing field for electric vehicles, which cost more due to the expensive batteries. But she said those prices are coming down and the credit may not be necessary by 2025.