Alliance for American Manufacturing

12/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/12/2019 19:02

Stepping on America’s Green Gas Pedal

New bill would make it easier to get behind the wheel of an American-made electric vehicle.

Some news you may have missed: On Dec. 11 Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced the Affordable American-made Automobile Act. Through a big point-of-sale tax credit, the legislation would encourage drivers to consider buying a new and used electric vehicles (EV). Additionally, the bill would provide incentives to build out the next generation of charging stations, and low-interest bonds for domestic battery manufacturing, 'as well as (another) tax credit for electric vehicle owners if their vehicle's battery system is manufactured in the U.S.'

Simply put, it would bolster the American segment of a global industry that's growing significantly.

China has encouraged aggressive growth in its own EV industry, which has flourished in its large home market market - so much so that China is a global EV leader with domestic sales peaking at nearly 1.5 million on alternative energy vehicles. Chinese companies dominate the top ten of automakers with the largest percentage of revenue generated by EV sales; Chery Automobile and Build Your Dreams (BYD) - which, incedenally, also makes buses - each received over 40% of their estimated 2018 revenue from passenger EV sales.

China's EV industry is churning out electric cars and is poised to make a lot more: Roughly half of global investment in EV went into China, compared to 5% that went in the American EV market. With these numbers - and with electric vehicles increasing in popularity -the American auto industry needs to keep up.

Rep. Speier says her bill would not only help shore up American green manufacturing jobs, but it will also promote public health and environmental sustainability, and protect the U.S. auto industry. China's companies often compete with significant state support at their backs.

'It's time for Congress to step on the gas for jobs, for global leadership, for affordability, for innovation and zero emissions,' she said. 'It's time for America to reclaim its mantle of modernization and scientific know-how. It's time for us to seize the lead in the electrical vehicle market or be left choking, literally and figuratively, on China's dust.'

The Affordable American-made Vehcile Act is supported by the United Automobile Workers, United Steelworkers, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, and even Lyft. It's picked up endorsements from a number of Rep. Speier's Democratic colleagues in the House.

It should go without saying that demand for electric vehicles will continue to grow, and that makes it imperative that policymakers find new ways to American strengthen production in this important industry. If China is able to dominate the EV market in perpetuity, millions of future American auto manufacturing jobs may not ever appear.

Now is the time to work on this issue. Rep. Speier's bill is a good step in that direction.