Joe Manchin calls EV tax credits “ludicrous” in Senate hearing

US Senator Joe Manchin likes the coal industry, doesn't like electric vehicles.

Enlarge / US Senator Joe Manchin likes the coal industry, doesn’t like electric vehicles. (credit: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

Senator Joe Manchin called federal tax credits for electric vehicles “ludicrous” in a Senate hearing on Thursday. The West Virginian politician, who continues to make millions from the coal industry, has been a regular critic of subsidies for EVs, which have been a key part of the Democratic Party’s plan to decarbonize the transport sector.

Since 2009, the US has used federal tax credits as a way to offset the higher price of EVs thanks to their battery packs.

Currently, the credit is for any plug-in vehicle (both battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs) with at least 5 kWh of battery capacity and ranges from $2,917 to $7,500, depending on the exact kWh total. But it’s a credit, not a rebate, so to receive the full $7,500, an EV buyer has to have at least $7,500 in tax liability that year. The tax credit also sunsets once a car manufacturer has sold 200,000 plug-in vehicles, although so far, only Tesla and General Motors have crossed that threshold.

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