House committee proposes tax credits to support affordable, union-made EVs

WASHINGTON —The House Ways and Means Committee on Friday released its proposal for consumer tax credits in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that would support affordable electric vehicles, domestic battery production and union jobs.

The committee’s legislative proposal — led by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich. — would boost EV tax credits for consumers to as much as $12,500 for EVs assembled by union workers with domestically manufactured batteries.

The fully refundable credit would be transferable at the point of sale and would phase out over 10 years.

In the first five years, the base credit would be $7,500 — the maximum tax credit currently available — with an additional bonus credit of $4,500 for vehicles made in a factory represented by a labor union and another $500 bonus if the automaker has a domestic supply for batteries.

In the second five-year period, only EVs assembled in the U.S. are eligible for the $7,500 base credit.

The proposal — which goes through committee markup next week before being considered by the full House — also would set a cap on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the EVs that qualify for the credit.

Electric sedans must have a retail price at or below $55,000. For vans, the limit is $64,000; SUVs, $69,000; and pickup trucks, $74,000.

The bill also would have an adjusted gross income cap for qualifying EV purchasers. Based on IRS filing status, there would be a $400,000 annual adjusted gross income cap for individuals; a $600,000 limit for heads of household; and an $800,000 limit for joint filers.

“Basically, the purpose behind this is to support … and align with President Biden’s pledge that this plan will not increase taxes on anyone making $400,000 or less,” Kildee told Automotive News in a phone interview Friday. “That includes the loss of the tax benefits for the purchase of electric vehicles. So anyone making less than $400,000 would still qualify for the tax advantages of purchasing an electric vehicle. However, it is our intent that this tax credit not be used by high-wealth individuals to purchase luxury vehicles.”

In addition, in the first two years of the credit, EVs with batteries that have power below 40 kilowatt-hours would only receive a $4,000 base credit instead of $7,500. In years three through five, batteries must have a minimum of 10 kWh.

“We think it aligns very much with the president’s goal of getting us to the point where we have half of the new vehicles sold in the United States being electric vehicles within a decade,” Kildee said. “Once we’re at that point, we don’t think credits are going to be required anymore. We think the scale and the pricing will be such that the market will be fully able to integrate electric vehicles without any additional consumer credit support.”

The committee’s proposal comes after groups representing major automakers and other EV stakeholders urged Congress to support the “broadest” EV tax credits for battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles in the $3.5 trillion budget plan — referred to as the Build Back Better Act.

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