Statement on Proposed Elimination of Federal EV Tax Credit

GOP Tax Plan Outsources EV Innovation to China

Quoting President Trump, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.” Congress should remember these words while framing the current tax bill, which would repeal a small but vital provision, the Section 30D Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit. Simply put, America is in a race with Europe and Asia, particularly China, to introduce the next generation of advanced cars and trucks. Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake in assembly lines, advanced battery plants, parts production, infrastructure development and exporting around the globe. As of Nov.1, 721,729 early adopters have purchased plug-in vehicles with the aid of this tax credit, helping to bring down the prices of these limited-production vehicles, which are inherently more expensive to produce in small numbers. Until we reach critical mass, i.e. assembly lines producing hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of PEVs each year, Section 30D will remain vital to America’s interests. How so?

In 2016 alone, according to the Energy Information Administration, we imported 28% of the petroleum we consumed from outside North America. Electric vehicles are a means to reduce the torrent of oil payments leaving the country. We also don’t spend huge sums protecting supplies of electricity, and we don’t make expedient concessions which put our values on a second-tier in order to develop those supplies. As former CIA Director James Woolsey put it, “We aren’t addicted to oil, but our cars are.”

Without EV’s, American’s will remained hooked on gasoline, subject to prices ready to pop whenever a hurricane takes large amounts of refining offline, or a crisis develops in a distant sea lane. EV drivers soon become aware of how cheap EV’s are. Usually, 90% of the time they charge in the garage. The cost in electricity to travel from A to B is about 3 cents/mile. Compare this to the cost in a typical 30 mpg gas car: 12 cents/mile. One major advantage of EV’s is the cold hard cash they save – it’s a cost equivalent to about $1/gallon. Given the opportunity, most people would jump at the chance to drive at that price.

When sales from a particular automaker reaches 200,000 vehicles, the credit amount begins a ramp down to zero. Right now, it appears GM will be the first to reach that milestone. How did GM achieve that goal? By investing in technology and battery R&D, knowing with the certainty that all businesses crave that the credit would be waiting for the buyers of their vehicles. By changing the rules midstream just as technology investments are beginning to pay dividends, this tax bill will upend the investment decisions of automakers and the purchasing decisions of American car buyers. Tesla’s new affordable sedan will put it over the 200,000 finish line as well. Why would the US Congress want to make business more difficult for a home grown American company making an American product in American factories using American workers getting paid an American wage? Recall the words of the President.

There is no time to waste. Already every major auto manufacturer is developing PEVs, and currently China, with the aid of government incentives, is the global leader in PEV sales. We cannot slip backward if we are to compete on a global level. It would be a shame if Americans end up purchasing imported Chinese, Japanese and EU-built electric vehicles because America failed to compete. Simple amputation of this tax credit would be both an unnecessary and damaging self-inflicted wound.

What should happen going forward is to let the credit work as designed, as an incentive for automakers to make EV’s and establish the early market for them. Once the 200,000 ceiling is hit, let the credit phase out, and accomplish its purpose with the addition of 200,000 EV’s per automaker to the nation’s roads, enabling the country to take full advantage of all that EV’s have to offer. Reduced oil consumption. Cost savings for families. Cleaner air from fewer tailpipes. Developing a product whose global demand will rise for decades. The EV tax credit seeds our transportation fleet with cars that offer all of these national benefits and opportunities. It’s an investment already paying off through a chain of owners and over the decades-long lifetime of cars.

Major discounts on Leafs, i3’s, Bolts and Volts

In addition to the $7500 Federal tax credit, and $3000 Maryland tax credit, Exelon (who now own Pepco, BGE and Constellation) will give you additional discounts on EV’s:

This applies to all Exelon customers!

$10000 on 2016 and 2017 Leafs

$7500 on BMW i3

$5500 on Chevy Volt

$4000 on Chevy Bolt (238 mile range!)

Hurry, the Leaf, Volt and Bolt discounts expire Sept 30, 2017 and the i3 discount expires Oct 7, 2017.

See www.ez-ev.com for details

The Climate Friendly Car Guide

Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public, has released the Climate-Friendly Car Guide, which offers an incredibly simple to use tool to figure out the six most climate-friendly cars in your particular state.

The link to Our Research gives you an informative introduction to the reports methodology, and a nice graphical representation of the generation mix state-by-state.

DC isn’t listed, but here are the results for Virginia:

and Maryland:

You can view more cars, but keep in mind that the differences between #6 and #7 on this list is minor compared to the orders-of-magnitude difference between #6 and an ICE car.

So, thank you Climate Central for creating such an easy-to-use tool.  The Union of Concerned Scientists also has a guide to help you understand the carbon impacts of electric versus gas cars, broken down by electric grid region.

and also a guide to the life-cycle emissions of EV’s versus gas cars, showing how their global warming emissions are less than half those of gas cars, even on today’s grid.

 

 

 

Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council meeting

The Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council holds meetings every other month to discuss issues related to charging, legislation, incentives, funding and other EV-related matters.  The meetings are open to the public and in particular those who drive Plug-In cars and thus have the most direct experience with them.

The public is invited to comment at the the beginning of each meeting.  Real EV drivers have impact!

The March 16 Agenda:

Welcome and Announcements Earl Lewis 5 min
Introductions 5 min
Public Comments 10 min
Legislative Update Dave Schatz 20 min
2017 Priorities Earl Lewis 30 min
2016 EVIC Report Earl Lewis 10 min
PSC EV Workgroup TBD 10 min
State Agency Updates Earl Lewis 20 min
Workplace Charging Events
FHWA Signage
EVSE Efforts
Closing Remarks Earl Lewis 10 min

Meetings are held 2pm-4pm at the headquarters of the Maryland Department of Transportation, Harry Hughs Conference Room, 7201 Corporate Center Drive in Hanover, Maryland, near BWI airport.  See EVADC Calendar for additional info and a map.

Charging is available onsite  (arrive early)

or a 5-10 min walk from the MTA/BWI Amtrak Station

HB 36 Anti-ICE’ing bill in 2017 Maryland legislature

FLASH: Hearing this Thursday, 2pm in Annapolis.  See below for driving instructions, etc.  You can also email a letter!  Send it to  clarence.lam@house.state.md.us by Noon Wednesday 1/25.  See below for the correct form for your letter.

Guide to Pending Anti-ICE’ing Legislation in Maryland

IF YOU DRIVE A PLUG-IN CAR AND USE PUBLIC CHARGING, THIS IS OF INTEREST TO YOU, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN ICE’D

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DC, Maryland, Virginia 2016 Nissan Leaf GROUP BUY

Announcing the First EV Group Buy Program in Virginia.  2016 Nissan LEAF is Now Available at Discounted Prices!

Deadline Jan 31, 2017

Virginia Clean Cities is pleased announce to the first EV Group Buy Program in Virginia for the 2016 Nissan LEAF. This limited time offer leverages the power of a group of consumers to negotiate a discounted price from a car dealer.

We invite you to join us in participating in this EV Group Buy Program. This is community-wide program designed to make it easier and more affordable for residents to purchase an electric vehicle.

What is a Group Buy Program?

This program will help your pool your buying power to drive electric at a discount. We can reduce the cost and complexity of going electric, increase the number of electric vehicles in our communities, decrease the amount of air pollution in our communities, and drive progress toward our region’s climate goals.

Beginning in mid-November, Virginia Clean Cities, in partnership with neighboring communities throughout Northern Virginia, is launching an EV group-purchasing program, which allows the selected EV dealership, Priority Nissan, to be able to offer more competitive pricing will also offer additional rebates for increased savings to drivers.

How You Can Help?

Just help us spread the word! Let your friends and coworkers know about EV Group Buy. It’s an easy way to show your organization’s commitment to the health and sustainability of your community!

Pricing is as a follows:

Lease Option: 36 months, 12,000 miles per year, $0 down*

Model S: $178 per month

Model S (30kw battery): $210 per month

Model SV: $245 per month

*Federal tax credit is included in lease pricing

Purchase Option (with $7,500 federal tax credit for those who qualify) – Standard rates apply through Nissan Plus tax and title

Model S: $15,650

Model SV: $17,405

Model SL: $19,767

For more information and registration, visit the VCC events website.

This program is open to residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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Meet America’s EV Charging Corridors

As part of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act of 2016, states were invited to designate Alternative Fuel Corridors, one type of which were EV Charging Corridors (primarily DC Fast charging along highways).  Here are the resulting corridors in the mid-Atlantic:

2016-12-13_15-20-25

Not surprisingly, the corridors follow most interstate highways.  The solid green lines are “signage-ready” meaning a useful amount of charging already exists.  Note, this is largely independent of the Tesla Supercharger Network.  The dashed orange lines are terranova, in that they need basic charging infrastructure, and are thus referred to as “signage-pending”.

You can check out GIS maps of the country and individual states here.

Major Developments in Federal and Private Workplace Charging

2016-10-25_17-16-20Department of Energy efforts meant to encourage private sector workplace charging have been bearing fruit for the past few years.  This is the Workplace Charging Challenge, a component of EV Everywhere, which coordinates the overall DOE effort on electric vehicles.

Until the adoption of the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) in Dec 2015, appropriated funds were specifically forbidden by GSA to be usable for the purchase or installation of workplace charging for employee use in their private vehicles.  The FAST Act has now removed that prohibition, meaning that workplace charging is now authorized, Continue reading