In Attack on Electric Vehicle Policies, Oil Industry-Funded Groups Distort the Truth

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The future is electric.

Electric cars are cleaner and cheaper to fuel and maintain – and we need to build out the electric vehicle (EV) market so more drivers can reap the benefits. The progress we’re making on EVs is vital to cut our oil use and reduce emissions. However, it’s also a threat to some very powerful industries that have launched a lobbying campaign. One to interfere with pro-EV policies like a tax credit.

Concerns over the electric vehicle tax credit

The campaign against electric vehicles is being orchestrated by a well-funded network of interconnected trade groups. As well as political organizations and think tanks. All that use the same set of misleading or flat-out false talking points. Points to shape both news coverage and policy discussions. So it’s most importantly a time to be clear about the facts.

Plugin hybrid electric vehicle tax credit

1. EVs are simply cleaner than gas-powered vehicles. 

a. In 2018, the average EV sold in the U.S. was responsible for the emissions equivalent of a 80 mpg gas-powered vehicle. That’s up from 73 mpg equivalent in 2017. 

b. There’s nowhere in the country where driving electric doesn’t reduce emissions. EVEN relative to driving a comparable gasoline car. Also, this advantage is only going to increase as we move toward a cleaner electric grid.

2. The federal EV tax credit makes new EVs some of the most affordable new vehicles on the market today. 

a. The average price of a new vehicle in the U.S. was $36,270 in January 2018. 

Kia Soul electric car charging

b. The federal electric vehicle tax credit cuts the cost of the 2018 Nissan LEAF to $22,490 and the 2018 Chevy Bolt to under $30,000. Therefore making these all-electric vehicles some of the most affordable options. Affordable options for those Americans looking to buy a new car today. 

c. Improving, not eliminating, the federal electric vehicle tax credit will help electric vehicles become more accessible. Accessible to THOSE Americans looking for a reasonably priced new vehicle. 

3. Policies to increase EV access support the future of the U.S. auto industry.

a. The rising global demand for electric vehicles presents an opportunity to strengthen the American auto business. One industry that employs almost 4.3 million people.  That’s counting manufacturing, auto sales, and auto part sales jobs.  

2017 Ford Focus Electric

b. At the same time, China, Japan, the European Union are spurring their own leadership in electric vehicle technology. Leadership through large scale investments and powerful policy drivers.  

c. Incentivizing electric vehicle sales creates domestic jobs and economic growth. Such as automakers like Tesla, Nissan, and GM. All are making electric vehicles in California and Nevada, Tennessee, Michigan, and New York respectively.  So investing in EVs is an investment in the future of the U.S. auto industry. 

4. There’s a big potential market for EVs, but the upfront cost of EV technology is one of the biggest barriers to adoption.

a. 1 in 5 U.S. drivers want an electric vehicle for their next car, 42 percent of American households could use an electric vehicle today, and the number of EV models available has grown from just 2 in 2010 to over 40 today.  

b. EVs offer cheaper costs of operation. Electricity prices are less volatile than gas prices and a UCS study of 50 major cities shows that EV drivers can save an average of $770 a year by driving electric. 

c. Electric vehicle battery costs have declined from $1,000 / kWh in 2010 to $190/ kWh in 2017 and are forecast to become cheaper still as more automakers ramp up electric vehicle production.  

d. The tax credit is helping jumpstart the electric vehicle industry, similar to how policy support helped the gasoline-hybrid market grow and compete. 

5. The campaign against EV policies is being carried out by self-interested industry players, using bad data and misleading arguments. 

a. The arguments used by the Koch network and their front groups. ALL are based on faulty, biased studies that skew data.  ALL to reach misleading conclusions about electric vehicles. As well as the electric vehicle tax credit. 

b. Opponents of the tax credit frequently cite work by the Manhattan Institute. They are a group which has received over $2.5M in funding from the Koch network. It promotes climate science skeptics and oil and gas industry apologists. You know. BS!!

c. These groups’ stated concerns about pollution can’t be taken at face value. The same groups pushing against the EV tax credit are also pushing back against standards that reduce emissions. That’s from gasoline vehicles, oil and gas extraction operations, and power plants. 

d. In conclusion, government subsidies for fossil fuel production cost the U.S. taxpayer $4.7 billion in 2014.

    However and most noteworthy all while the electric vehicle tax credit only cost $670 million in 2017

Toyota rav4 EV

e. Finally, the fight over the electric vehicle tax credit isn’t a principled disagreement over the existence of subsidies. Cause it’s a coordinated effort by a powerful industry afraid of competition.