UPDATE- Nissan Issues Statement – Bill Introduced in Georgia Looks to End State’s $5,000 EV Credit This April

FEB 12 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 29

Nissan LEAF Has Been Selling Like Crazy in Atlanta, But Eliminating the Georgia's $5,000 Ev Incentive Will Certainly Change That

Nissan LEAF Has Been Selling Like Crazy in Atlanta, But Eliminating the Georgia’s $5,000 Ev Incentive Will Certainly Change That

Georgia is one of the US’ leading states in terms of EV adoption rate.

In fact, Georgia ranked fourth in the nation in 2013 in EV registration.

Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta has been a hotbed for EVs.  In particular, Nissan says Atlanta has been the LEAF’s #1 market for several months now.

Why is Georgia so EV crazy?  The answer is simple: Georgia offers a $5,000 tax credit for those who purchase EVs.

But as Urvaksh Karkaria at Biz Journal writes:

Atlanta - Soon To Be Less EV-Friendly?

Atlanta – Soon To Be Less EV-Friendly?

“Now, a bill introduced by former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin, threatens to suck the air out of electric vehicle adoption in the Peach State.”

“The bill would eliminate an up to $5,000 tax credit available to buyers of new zero-emission vehicles, no later than April 1. The tax credit — among the richest in the country — coupled with a $7,500 federal tax credit, has fueled electric vehicle adoption in the state.”

Electric vehicle advocates, such as us, understand that eliminating the credit at such an early stage will definitely stall out sales of EV in Georgia.

Martin, the man who introduced the bill, is quoted by Biz Journals as saying the following:

“I want to allow people access to the (electric vehicle) market.  I just don’t want to make other people pay for their decision.”

“If the economics don’t make sense without the tax credits, and automakers wish to keep selling the cars, they’ll have to get leaner.”

“We’ve accomplished our task, (EVs) are becoming mass-marketable, there are charging stations around the city and the state.  (EVs) are cost-competitive, and now it’s time for the business to make it on its own.”

No Martin…It’s far too soon to assume that EVs can make it on their own.  There’s a reason why the federal government has not put an end to its EV tax credit program.  It’s not yet time to let EVs go it alone.

UPDATE: Nissan’s official statement on the situation in Georgia is as follows:

“Nissan supports incentives, such as the one in Georgia, as a way to increase consideration for electric cars among a broader group of consumers. Nissan LEAF sales are now growing rapidly in Georgia thanks to owners spreading the word about the car’s lower total cost of ownership compared to gas-powered cars, as well as access to HOV and HOT lanes in Atlanta and LEAF’s great driving experience.”

As Biz Journals states:

“The Georgia EV tax credit, passed in 1998, is richer than its neighbors. Tennessee offers a $2,500 rebate for the first 1,000 vehicles sold; South Carolina has a $1,500 tax credit; and Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina offer no EV tax credits.”

It’s believed that the proposed April 1 cut-off date for the EV credit in Georgia will at least get pushed back a few months.  A decision is expected to be made sometime in March. It does seem as though Georgia will soon lose its EV credit.  That is, unless EV advocates within Georgia make their voices heard by contacting their house representatives immediately.

Top 15 Released by Nissan in August

Top 15 Released by Nissan in August – Atlanta Has Since Shot to #1

Source: Biz Journals

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29 Comments on "UPDATE- Nissan Issues Statement – Bill Introduced in Georgia Looks to End State’s $5,000 EV Credit This April"

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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

We don’t get any income tax credits for EVs in Texas.

But then, we don’t have income tax either 🙂

Eric Cote

Well I used to live in NH, and there’s no income tax, no sales tax, and inexpensive state run liquor stores.

Try to top that tri-fecta! 😉

Nick

The only downside is you have to live in Texas. :-p

😀

Big Solar

Yeah, Florida dosen’t either. Of course I’ve never turned the heat on in either of my EVs. That saves a lot of electric (money) right there.

Eric Cote

The bill sponsor doesn’t seem to realize that a tax credit doesn’t cause anybody else to pay money to a person that purchases an EV in his state. It just causes the EV buyer to have less tax to pay from their own tax liability.

kdawg

They always spin it this way. And I thought republicans were supposed to be against taxes?

SeattleTeslaGuy

Uh, sorry, that logic doesn’t fly either. It’s a zero sum game. There is a pot of money that the state collects (revenues) and they spend every dime of it. When the revenue goes down (due to this kind of incentive), some program will get less money. Since most of the money is eventually spent on salaries, that means someone’s salary is affected. In the case of EV incentives, it’s pretty small right now but if EVs captured 50% of the market, that would mean they have to either cut services or raise revenue (more taxes), neither of which is a politically desirable outcome.

Frankly, they should taper it off rather than cutting it abruptly. EVs are getting to the point where they are desirable even without the credit.

Eric Cote

Well, if we’re talking about the total sum of money collected by the state, surely there are other bills that they could introduce to remove other tax credits and deductions that would aggregate to a much larger dollar value than these plug in credits.

Here’s just a few:
http://www.georgia.org/competitive-advantages/tax-credits/

Steve T

Well stated.

David Stone

Of course, with every ev on the road, the health costs due to pollution go down.

Everyone has to pay for everyone elses personal transportation.
At the moment, it is with their health.

Michael

Are electric cars only attractive because of tax credits? Apparently not… http://lnkd.in/dC9HU7A

Mint

I think the federal tax credit should be more than enough, and it should eventually be reduced also. Battery costs are now in the neighborhood of $200/kWh, and the federal credit is $7500 (or $400+/kWh for smaller batteries). At this point, PHEV should have LOWER prices than regular hybrids. I’m going to start making accusations of collusion if we don’t see this within a year.

I also want to see carmakers adopt a smartphone-like sales model. Charge for usage (but less than the cost of gasoline in a Prius) and lower the upfront cost. This gives them an incentive to make long-lasting batteries and cars, and when that monthly revenue stream starts trickling in, they’ll put their full weight behind EVs.

Ziv

I think that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (the $7500 tax credit) was crafted very well. Georgia should take a page out of that law and make the $5000 tax credit sunset a bit further down the road, and to reduce it by half for a quarter at the end instead of chopping it off entirely. And it wouldn’t hurt to craft the bill so that any car with at least 16 kWh of battery qualify, as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 did.
The tax credits should go away eventually, but the entire purpose was to build a new type of car economy based on electric vehicles, and we are only halfway there. When the 2015MY Leaf and Volt MSRP’s are announced, we may be another step toward the time when the tax credits are no longer needed, but I don’t think the need will really go away until the Gen II Volt and (later) the Tesla E are out.

Spec9

At the cell level, battery costs may be in the $200/KWH. But you still need to pack them into housing that armors them from damage tries to limit damage if thermal runaway happens. You also need the battery monitoring and maintenance electronics. And you need the thermal maintenance system. So at a pack level with high-quality cells, automotive batteries are still pretty expensive.

David Murray

I agree the credits have to end at some point. But I think it is too soon. Give it another year or two. That isn’t much to ask considering how many things are subsidies indefinitely with no end in sight.

Assaf

Yeah, this is intentional sabotage and disruption. I have never heard of a legislative move at the state or Federal level, to end an incentive in such an abrupt way within less than 2 months.

His rhetoric as well exposes a thinly veiled anti-EV world view.

Am not familiar with GA state legislators, but previous posts here indicated there are some pro-EV Republicans there, and most Democrats probably are. Hopefully this initiative is only a bargaining position; even more hopefully it will be perceived as too blatant and will die a quick death.

David Murray

Indeed.. I could see them reducing it by half… then in another year reduce it in half again..

kdawg

I wonder if reducing it by say 10% each year would actually spur more EV sales. If people think the EV credit will always be there, they may procrastinate. But if they can actually see it diminishing, they may buy sooner rather than later.

Steve T

Good point.

The $5000 credit at the state level is very generous, possibly too much so, considering there is also the federal $7500 credit.

Perhaps, next year they could reduce the incentive to, say, $3,000 then reduce by another $1000 per year until it’s gone. Seems to me that that should be a good compromise and a decent time frame.

People that are on the fence will be incentivised to get in on the deal before the end of the year, each year it drops.

ggpa

It seems that Georgia will have an interesting legislative session, between this issue and the Tesla sales cap.

http://insideevs.com/tesla-supports-bill-to-raise-150year-vehicle-sales-cap-in-georgia/

Anon

Good o’l boy politics sucks.

Mark C

I live in neighboring Alabama and we have no state tax incentive for EV purchases either. It would be nice if we did, but…….

Spec9

. . . . but you live in Alabama.

Tough place. They don’t even have net-metering for solar there.

Spec9

I’m surprised they have been able to get away with that incentive for this long in Georgia. I wonder if some conservatives noticed all these Leafs on the the road and started to wonder what was going on.

Anthony Fiti

Taper the incentive. $3500 in 2015, $2500 in 2016, $1500 in 2017 and then its gone.

Mike I

This kind of predictable phase-out makes far more sense than abruptly changing it. In fact, they should have originally tied it to sales volume just like the federal tax credit is.

Kent

Why didn’t Georgia offer a tax incentive on the Volt?

Steve T

Washington didn’t either when I bought my Volt. Pure EV’s get a full sales tax exemption. However, little old me with my 97.6% EV (and 832 MPG) usage with my Volt didn’t qualify.

Why do people get so purist about things rather than understanding the spirit behind it? I mean why wouldn’t they want to promote the EREV technology, too? Zero?

Cavaron

If they end the credit to a certain date, EV sales will explode until this date. They could max this effect out if they lower the credit in several steps.