Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill will make sure Americans “never have to worry about gas prices again,” by incentivizing electric car purchases.
In a recent interview with MSNBC, Buttigieg who has been under fire for taking paternity leave during the supply chain crisis, was asked if he was excited about any provisions in the “Build Back Better” legislation, which passed through the House on Nov. 19 with a 220-213 vote.
It turns out that electric vehicles (EV’s) really rev Buttigieg’s engine, as do the financial incentives for those who purchase a new vehicle. He said that the bill would “in effect” give individuals and families “up to a $12,500 discount” of their shiny new non-gas guzzler, and was quick to point out that “once they own that vehicle, [they] will never have to worry about gas prices again.”
He noted that minimum-wagers and non-city-dwelling Americans will gain the most out of getting rid of their gas combustion engines. “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV, are often rural residents who have the longest distances to drive, they burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income.”
“They would gain the most by having that vehicle,” he continued. “These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
“If we can make the electric vehicle less expensive for everybody, more people can take advantage, and we’ll be building and selling more American-made EVs, which means in time they’ll become less expensive to make and to buy for everybody,” Buttigieg concluded.
But under the current version of the bill, getting the maximum $12,500 tax credit is nearly impossible, and astonishingly few vehicles qualify for the full deduction.
The base incentive amount for purchasing an EV is $4,000, with an extra $3,500 added on if the battery pack has a minimum of 40 kilowatt-hours of capacity and a gas tank that doesn’t hold more than 2.5 gallons, which knocks all hybrid vehicles out of contention.
Another $5,000 comes into play if the battery is US-made and the automaker uses a union workforce, which doesn’t allow Tesla buyers to take the extra credit, as the company is not unionized. In fact, the only vehicles that come even close to getting the full tax benefit are Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Bolt EUV.
The Senate is expected to vote on the Build Back Better act by Christmas.