Democrats’ electric vehicle push sparks intense lobbying struggle
Democrats’ efforts to boost electric vehicle (EV) adoption have sparked an intense lobbying battle on Capitol Hill as automakers attempt to influence legislation that will shape the future of the industry.
Automakers are generally back President BidenJoe Biden Majority of Americans Worried About Cyber Attacks on Critical Groups: Poll Secretary of Labor Says 194,000 Jobs Added in September “Not the Best Number” The Biden Task Force has reunited 52 families separated under Trump: PLUS reportThe Green Power Plan, which would spend billions of government dollars to build charging stations across the country and increase incentives that lower the cost of buying an EV. But they are strongly divided on a key element of the tax credit proposal.
Under legislation proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee last month, most electric vehicles would qualify for a tax credit of $ 7,500. But electric vehicles built by unions and assembled in the United States would receive an additional $ 4,500 in credits.
Only Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, would benefit from the added incentive, as unionized workers assemble most of their electric vehicles in factories in the United States. The proposal effectively leaves other automakers, including Tesla, the country’s leading electric vehicle maker, at a disadvantage of $ 4,500 per vehicle.
The provision has sparked outrage from automakers who do not have a unionized workforce, including Honda and Toyota, who have called legislative language “patently biased” and “discriminatory.”
“If Congress is serious about tackling the climate crisis, as well as its goal of seeing these vehicles built in America, it should treat all electric vehicles made by American auto workers fairly and equally,” Honda said. in a press release.
CEO of Tesla Elon muskElon Reeve MuskBlue Origin takes William Shatner to space – but can that distract from inside critics? Six Rules to Guide West’s Efforts to Counter China’s Industrial Policy Mukesh Ambani Joins the $ 0 Billion Club, who has bitterly opposed organizing efforts, also criticized the measure, saying at a recent conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., that the Biden administration is “controlled by the unions.”
Over the past month, auto industry executives and trade groups have made every effort to influence the final electric vehicle legislation that will be included in the Democrats’ multibillion-dollar reconciliation agenda.
Autos Drive America, a trade group that represents most of the major foreign automakers such as Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, is running television ads in Washington urging lawmakers to reject the pro-union measure.
“Automakers are racing to put more EVs on the road, but the Congressional deal for unions would take most of today’s EVs off the table for many American families,” the United States said. group. most recent announcement tells viewers.
The Detroit-based United Auto Workers (UAW) are fighting to protect the union provision, which was introduced by Michigan lawmakers in the House and Senate. UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement last week that the measure “will ensure that subsidies for electric vehicles go to good union jobs here in the United States.”
“We need these jobs of the future to be as good or better than the jobs they are replacing,” he said.
Most automakers have increased their federal lobbying spending this year, according to OpenSecrets. General Motors spent around $ 5.6 million to deploy 82 lobbyists in the first half of 2021, up 13% from a year ago. Toyota, which has actively lobbied to slow the transition of electric vehicles in the country, spent nearly $ 3.4 million, up 15% from last year.
The bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, passed by the Senate in August, would provide $ 7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country, a huge boost for most of the automakers who haven’t yet made the investment themselves.
Automakers stress that funding for electric vehicle infrastructure must be matched with incentives for customers. They say that without tax credits, customers are less likely to switch to electric vehicles, which only account for 2% of car sales in the United States.
While the auto industry is divided on some issues, it is united behind the Democrats’ proposal to end an existing provision that phased out tax credits once a automaker hits 200,000 electric vehicle sales. Automakers are also pushing Democrats to remove a proposed cap on electric vehicle tax credits for customers with incomes of $ 400,000 or more and a measure that limits the electric vehicle tax credit to cars. that cost $ 55,000 or less.
The Zero Emission Transportation Association, which lobbies for luxury electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla, Rivian and Lucid Motors, argues that the price limit “would force manufacturers to produce lower-end and less desirable vehicles, which would decrease the consumer experience and slow the adoption of electric vehicles.”
Car manufacturers will have to influence Sens. Joe manchinJoe ManchinDemocrats Set Up Chaotic End Of Year As Washington Becomes Even More Partisan, All Factions Take Democratic “Hostages” Over Schumer’s Controversial Speech: Timing “May Not Have Been the Best” MORE (DW.Va.), Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten Sinema Democrats set up chaotic end of year Democrats assess changes to drug price measurement to convince moderates McConnell promises GOP will not help raise debt ceiling in December after the Schumer crisis PLUS (D-Arizona) and Marc KellyMark KellyKelly Raises Million in Third Quarter Ruben Gallego is left-wing favorite to face Sinema Senate on the verge of avoiding debt crisis MORE (D-Ariz.), Who voted in August with Republicans for a non-binding budget amendment that would limit the electric vehicle tax credit to buyers with incomes below $ 100,000 and electric vehicles costing less than $ 40,000 $.