Electrify Our Nation’s Automobiles

Date

The Honorable Ron Wyden
Chairman
Senate Finance Committee
US Senate
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Richard Neal
Chairman
House Committee on Ways and Means
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Wyden and Chairman Neal:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we strongly support electrifying our nation’s automobile fleet to address the climate crisis facing the world while also creating manufacturing jobs here at home. To accomplish this important goal, however, the U.S. must quickly address barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption, including vehicle cost, uncertainty regarding the technology, and equitable access for underserved populations. As you consider historic investments in EVs in the upcoming reconciliation package, we urge you to reform the federal EV tax credit so that it can be more easily accessed by lower- and middle-income Americans, as well as include investments to expand charging infrastructure to traditionally underserved and disadvantaged communities. 

No other sector of our economy produces more carbon emissions than transportation, and passenger vehicles alone account for more than half of those emissions. Electric vehicles offer one of the most effective and efficient ways to significantly cut passenger car emissions, but right now, EVs are neither affordable nor accessible for many Americans. According to the Congressional Research Service, nearly 80% of the federal electric vehicle tax credits are claimed by individuals making more than $100,000 per year.  Low and middle-income families cannot capture the tax credit because they often do not owe taxes equal to the 30D tax credit or cannot afford to wait months until tax season to claim the benefit.

We believe it is critical the 30D tax credit is changed to a point of sale rebate or a refundable and transferable credit to support low and middle-income individuals. A refundable credit, as proposed in Senator Wyden’s Clean Energy for America Act, will quickly expand affordable access to EV’s for individuals who do not have sufficient tax liability. A transferable credit will allow third-parties to “purchase” the credit at the point of sale from the consumer to enable an individual to immediately access the financial benefit. Many families cannot afford to wait months to claim the credit when they file their taxes. Lastly, we support lifting the per-manufacturing cap of 200,000 to ensure every individual who purchases an EV has access to the intended federal cost saving benefits.

To further expand equitable access to electric vehicles, we also urge you to include significant investments to expand charging infrastructure specifically to underserved and disadvantaged communities. We strongly support the Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act of 2021 by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, which would support the creation of 200,000 electric vehicle charging stations in underserved and disadvantaged communities over the next ten years. We urge you to include these important provisions in the reconciliation bill.

Low-income communities and communities of color are most impacted by the effects of climate change, and yet too often they are shut out from the solutions that aim to create a cleaner and healthier environment. We urge you to include the above recommendations to ensure that federal electric vehicle investments and incentives are more equitably distributed and that the benefits of electric vehicles can be realized by all Americans. 

Sincerely,

Cc:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Leader Charles Schumer
Ranking Member Mike Crapo
Ranking Member Kevin Brady