Those who choose to buy electric cars in our country are given a federal subsidy, funded by taxpayer dollars, which was mandated by Congress in 1992.
The subsidy was put in place largely to create a market for environmentally conscious electric vehicles, of which there are now close to 1 million on our roads.
For every one of these vehicles however, U.S. taxpayers pay up to $7,500. Between 2011 and 2017, $4.7 billion federal dollars were doled out to purchasers of electric vehicles.
I think that these tax credits represent an admirable cause; however, they may be unfair to those who cannot afford electric vehicles at all or those who live somewhere in our country where owning one just is not practical.
In a country where 49 states already give tax credits buyers of electric cars, it makes sense to do away with the federal credit. A Manhattan Institute study says that that could save taxpayers roughly $20 billion over the next decade.
These subsidies have accomplished their mission and an electric car market now exists—nearly every manufacturer is now building electric vehicles. The funds saved by removing this subsidy could go a long way toward paying for the infrastructure reform that our country so badly needs.
Here’s the bottom line: The debate around what to do with federal electric vehicle subsidies will likely become a hot button issue as soon as next year when a newly divided Congress will hopefully tackle the revitalization of our nation’s infrastructure.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.