Key Committee Endorses Cantwell Tax Credit for Electric Buses, Trucks, Boats, and Planes

Measure will provide a 30% federal cost share for all non-passenger modes of transportation that are propelled by electricity instead of fossil fuels.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Finance adopted Cantwell-authored legislation to create a new federal tax incentive to accelerate the manufacture and adoption of all types of electrified transportation modes as part of The Clean Energy for America Act. The groundbreaking proposal, which represents Section 2 of S.1791, Cantwell’s FAST Electricity Act, would according to the Joint Committee on Taxation invest $5.2 billion over the next decade to help build the market and spur the adoption of electric powered vehicles. In her remarks about the provision, Cantwell highlighted the importance of investing in clean transportation options to ensure that America continues to lead in the manufacturing sector.

“We need to tackle other areas of our transportation infrastructure that will help us be competitive and to tackle climate issues…I'd like to thank the Chair for including my proposal to establish a landmark 30% credit for electric vehicles beyond passenger cars. This is an opportunity for us to look at everything from buses, to trucks, to the maritime community with boats, even planes and other industrial equipment like electric powered forklifts, tractors, and port equipment.” said Cantwell.

Cantwell spoke on how the proposal would also have groundbreaking applications in freight and international trade.

“Americans run on freight but moving goods around the country accounts for one sixth of U.S. greenhouse emissions. But these heavier vehicles are particularly difficult to decarbonize so I believe time-limited incentives are warranted to help scale and commercialize these promising technologies. These incentives will not only drive adoption of cleaner vehicles, they will help ensure the cleaner vehicles the world wants to buy are built here in the United States,” said Cantwell. Electrifying freight which includes batteries, green hydrogen, and renewable natural gas also could reduce local air pollution, lower transportation costs, facilitate international trade, and provide us with competitive edge.”

In 2008, Senator Cantwell partnered with former Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to author the current $7,500 tax incentive for electrified passenger vehicles. This credit is often cited as a key catalyst for growing the electric car and truck market from essentially nothing 15 years ago to the hundreds of models that consumers will be able to choose from in the next year or two.

“I was proud to support the first $7,500 EV incentive with Senator Hatch… When we did the 30D credit [in 2008], there were no electric vehicles in the market. Tesla only had a prototype. GM Chevy Volt was still a blueprint. So fast forward to today, and we have a tax incentive that has helped to develop lots of different models and hundreds of electric vehicles models in the future,” said Cantwell.

Video of Cantwell’s remarks is available HERE, audio is available HERE, and the full transcript is available HERE.