America is known as Car Country. Unlike many other Western and modern industrial nations, public mass transport is seen in America as an afterthought. It’s located primarily in cities, but a great deal of America exists beyond cities, with towns that are dozens of miles apart from state to state. Some states have communities separated by hours of driving. To get back and forth, cars are necessary, but the pollution they generate has always been an issue.
Thanks to the modern innovation and mass production of electric cars, one of the most prolific makers happening to be located in America under the Tesla brand, the problem of car pollution is receding. It’s still fairly early technology compared to the 100+ years America has had to adapt to the standard gas car, though. That’s why incentive programs are being made to encourage new and old drivers to make a switch to electric in the future.
Carbon Tax refers to a tax levied against any goods which create CO2 emissions such as gasoline, coal and oil. No state in the US has created carbon tax measures. US policymakers first proposed theCarbon Tax in the 1980s but have never implemented it in the states. Initial projections were that charging just $5 for every metric ton of carbon emissions would generate over $1.5 trillion a year. Carbon tax has never passed into law in the US with very few states supporting it, such as Washington andCalifornia.
TaxCredits and Exemptions
The US government provides tax credits towards individuals who purchase electric or hybrid cars from certain makers. The credit is up to $7,500 for all pure electric vehicles and is reduced down forHybrids $4,500 at the least. The only cars which do not apply for this credit are Tesla-brand vehicles. However, this system is not permanent and is dependent on sales by the model of car. Once enough cars of a specific make and model are owned, tax credits will no longer be offered for owning them. Certain states like California offer state based rebates and other incentives like priority parking spaces.
Consumer rebate programs exist on a state by state basis. Not all states have them. These can cover small costs associated with purchasing new electric or alternative fuel vehicles, such as immediate cash down rebate payment of up to $1,000 depending on the car being bought. These incentive programs might also be temporary, or may be allotted more funding in the future to provide higher incentives. California offers many rebates for consumers to purchase EVs as alternatives to standard cars. Many states likeTexas still support Tesla cars through these incentives even after the federal tax credit program for them ran out.
Tax and subsidy incentives have been offered to commercial owners who own fueling stations to install new electric charging equipment at reduced prices. Some of these offers differ by state and can go as high as 50% off of a capped amount of money to install new technology at existing stations, or to construct new stations altogether. Current plans call for a massive spending bill which would increase the number of charging stations from 42,500 to over 500,000 stations by the year 2030.
A number of states such as Georgia andIllinois have implemented additional fees in relation to electric vehicle ownership, including increased gas taxes and new per-mile payments that replace the flat rates which is meant to help bolster road repair funds as more vehicles are introduced that don’t pay the traditional fees that are extracted from gas sales. Illinois charges $100 a year from each EV owner, Georgia started with a $200 rate that changes each year, and Colorado has the cheapest fee of $50.
The US Department of Energy has partnerships with public and private sector workforces to increase the priority of electric vehicle technologies. Car companies are making huge investments to achieve a net-zero carbon motor for future models without relying on third party technologies. These companies are being offered subsidies through a massive energy spending incentive to commence their research and develop for American markets. R&D has already found that EVs produce 53% less emissions than standard road cars. Once fully integrated, EVs will reduce greenhouse gases by an estimated 36%.
The US Federal Government is putting a dedicated focus on supporting the development and delivery of new electric vehicle technology over a 10 year period to more than double the current support and total number of vehicles in the United States. The AdvancedTechnology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program puts forward money for companies to spend on new vehicle designs and manufacturing that includes electric motors. The fund still has over $19 billion dollars to spend on this incentive.
The Federal Energy Management Program exists to give continuous support to new electric vehicles that are being introduced into Federal workforce environments. The General Services Administration negotiates with car manufacturers for lower prices for new and updated cars through their “blanket purchase agreement” where all future cars for fleets are planned to be electric or hybrids of some kind. This agreement saves thousands of dollars per vehicle, including the Chevrolet Bolt for $10,000 less than its market sale retail price.
The US is a massive country with different governing bodies for each state. Adapting its existing infrastructure from gas vehicles to all electric is a task most of its administrators and officials won’t see done in their lifetimes. However, positive progress is being made as electric cars become more widely available. Their cost can be reduced with incentive programs, taxes for citizens that swap over can be lowered, and new taxing programs can make up for the revenue lost on gas taxes for road repairs.Each state differs based on their internal priorities but as more states turn to this new opportunity all 50 will someday have full EV support.
To see additional info on state-policy and incentive breakdown: