America Has A New Plan To Increase Electric Vehicle Sales

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Around one percent of all car sales just isn't enough.

For a vehicle class that makes up barely over one percent of all cars sold in the United States, electric cars get a disproportionate amount of attention. The Tesla Model 3 might be selling in significant numbers, but compared to the rest of auto sales, electric vehicles still only make up a tiny fraction. The US has attempted to boost the sale of EVs by offering a $7,500 tax credit, an incentive that has come under fire in recent months.

The Trump Administration has unsuccessfully attempted to end the $7,500 federal EV tax incentive, though EV adoption rates are still not where they need to be to improve our emissions output. But the government may have a plan. Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell just proposed a new bill called the USA Electrify Forward Act, which would improve manufacturing and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

2017-2019 Tesla Model 3 Front View Driving Tesla
2017-2019 Tesla Model 3 Side View Driving Tesla

The purpose of the bill is "to promote American leadership in vehicle manufacturing, job creation, improved air quality, and climate protection through domestic manufacturing of low- and zero-emission vehicles and development of electric vehicle charging networks, and for other purposes."

If enacted, the act would devote $2 billion per year to the US Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program between 2021 and 2035. Some of this money would be spent on improving the country's charging network while also encouraging building owners to install more EV chargers.

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2017-2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View Chevrolet
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"As the effects of climate change intensify and other nations invest heavily in electric vehicle production and adoption, it's critical the United States accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to remain on the forefront of innovation and global competitiveness," Dingell said in a statement. "Investing in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure is also pivotal to the United States rapidly transitioning to a clean, net-zero emissions economy."

Dingell cited a survey from AAA conducted in May 2019, reporting that only 16 percent of Americans say they would consider buying an EV for reasons including range, price, and repair costs. A $7,500 tax credit clearly has not been enough to get more people into EVs, so something must be done to improve our infrastructure.

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