Georgia Senate Runs Out Of Time To Vote On HB 257 – $5,000 EV Incentive Lives Another Year!

MAR 21 2014 BY MICHAEL BEINENSON 41

For the last month current and future EV Owners of Georgia were paying close attention to the House Bill 257 sponsored by Representative Martin.

The initial language of the bill would completely eliminate both ZEV ($5,000) and LEV ($2,500 – does not apply to PHEVs) credits as early as April 2014.  (Around the same time the newly priced 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV will to hit the market at $22,995)

The Nissan LEAF Has Been The Best Selling Plug-In In Georgia Since Its Debut Thanks To The State Credit

The Nissan LEAF Has Been The Best Selling Plug-In In Georgia Since Its Debut Thanks To The State Credit

With the help of many activist and EV enthusiast here in Georgia a grand effort was made to stop the bill before the EV community can take off.  Of course Atlanta has been the number one NISSAN LEAF sales city for many months in a row, the real consequence of this bill would be seen on newer models that are coming to this market including the BMW i3, SMART Electric Drive and Kia Soul.

The Senate’s version of the bill kept the tax credit but placed a monetary cap of Ten Million Dollars per fiscal year, essentially making the credit available to roughly 2,000 cars a year.

In the last 2 hours before the end of the legislative session, Representative Martin introduced yet another amendment that would also include PHEVs but an overall credit of $2,500 and a $10MM cap.

With the last hour remaining, Georgia Senate did not have enough time to vote on HB 257 and therefore it will not make it to the Governor’s desk and Georgia gets to keep the $5,000 credit for another year (despite many other media outlets reporting of the contrary).

According to Georgia Department of Revenue, in 2011, the total amount of ZEV/LEV Credits was only: $305,217 and in 2012: $1,126,784. However, everyone is expecting to rise sharply for 2013 and we will keep an eye on this number.

Until the next 2014/2015 Legislative Session, there is nothing stopping Georgia at breaking a few more sales records for Zero Emission Electric Vehicles.

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41 Comments on "Georgia Senate Runs Out Of Time To Vote On HB 257 – $5,000 EV Incentive Lives Another Year!"

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Yay!

Well, yay for BEVs but too bad they didn’t get the amendment for PHEVs.

This should cause a run-on EVs in GA, knowing the $5k incentive may be on it’s last year.

Time to consider a 2015 Nissan Leaf whenever they come out this year!

Awesome!

Georgia state rep. Martin has tripped on his own shoelaces.

If he had come out with a more thoughtful and nuanced bill to begin with, it would have probably been law by now.

Now, if all goes well and 2014 cements Atlanta’s status as the EV capital of the East Coast (if not all of the US), not just the “Leaf Capital” – then it will be much harder to eat away at that.

This and the Tesla-Arizona story, should be a cautionary tale for Republican hacks everywhere:

You think EVs are an easy target to beat on for cheap popularity?

Think again.

+1 for both of them.

On the contrary, mass acceptance of EVs will cause the incentives to disappear sooner.

I’d take mass acceptance of EVs and no incentives, over incentives and fringe acceptance – any time.

But as we know, the road to the former passes via the latter.

Marvelous! While it would be hard to push the Nissan LEAF off its pedestal, but an i-MiEV for $10,500 would be a worthy fight! I mean, there are plenty of people out there who are gripped to the teeth on fuel and maintenance expenses and whether their car would hold up and not fall to pieces at speed on the motorway or when they need it most. Buying an i-MiEV or leasing it would be a great welcome for a lot of the lower income population. The incentives were supposed to enable those to purchase an EV who wouldn’t have been able to without it. The is always an electric car to debunk each EV myth at a time. The two Tesla’s debunked that EVs have no desirability, the LEAF debunked that EVs are not popular or cost effective, the i3 debunked that EVs can’t be a real BMW. Now the i-MiEV debunks the message that only the wealthy can drive an EV and it’s only the wealthy who take EV incentives. If such incentives allow the type of demographic who own sub-$16,000 cars to own an affordable EV with minimal maintenance and operation costs, then it would be a… Read more »

I still don’t think you’ll see many poor people buying or leasing an i-Miev. Mainly because most poor people have no credit. A lease usually requires a very good credit score.

Not even for the type of people who consider owning a new Mirage, iQ or the Chevrolet Spark? I wasn’t aware of that.

Also, most poor people pay little or no income taxes, so there is no tax credit to be had. That’s why the tax credit incentive will always be attractive to the wealthy only.

“wealthy” or just “not poor”?

This is great news indeed. I don’t know how many Leafs are selling in GA but I suspect it is a quite a lot. I was afraid it would affect overall Leaf sales volume if GA cut its credit.

The great thing about having a few areas like this with a lot of Leaf sales is that it is a critical experiment for discovering where that tipping point is, or critical mass as one might say.

At some point when there are enough EVs on the road, the general population begins to change their perspective. No longer is the EV an experiment or a niche product, but just another car that happens to use a different fuel.

It will help when there is a supply of used EVs for the used car market to take advantage of. That will start to become evident over the next few years as the first generation of EVs are traded in substantial numbers. It will also help show to what extent this technology has legs, as opposed to being driven by tax incentives.

So true, and what I thought of. 5k, on top of 7.5k, off a car that’s in the 20k range?

LOL! People are going continue buying Leafs like crazy if they are smart.

In all honesty, I would like them to reduce this tax-credit because it is much too generous and is likely to create a big backlash against EV incentives. Instead of cancelling them, they just need to set them at more reasonable levels. California’s $2500 incentive is nice.

This tax credit has been around since 1998 and no one seemed to be concerned about it through two recession.

The backlash now has only 2 reasons:

1. EVs are becoming more numerous and attracting attention, some of it unwanted;

2. Due to the above, some GOP hacks think it’s a great wedge issue to beat on. See also under New Jersey.

There are a lot of ways in which the current incentive is imperfect (e.g., it is socio-economically regressive).

But if’s doing the job of pushing massive amounts of EVs into the Deep South’s largest metro area, at a time when the region’s dominant political vibe is anti-everything-that-looks-green-or-is-somehow-related-to-Obama –

then it’s worth every penny.

California’s PEV rebate is about to go away, funds are down to $4M remaining and rumors are that more funds won’t be added.

Time to offer the Chevy Spark EV in Georgia. Come on, GM! 🙂

+2

Dear CEO Barra, please start showing us you are different.

They are coming to GA in September 2014! Employee discount on top of tax breaks…woohoo!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I think it’s safe to say at this point that any EV not available for sale in Georgia is a compliance car.

Haha, good one Dr. !

Would be nice to see GM sell the Spark EV everywhere. In other states, there is a rebate as well. CO, PA, IL and GA as well as CA and more. NJ offers no sales tax on EV sales.

The money is better spent getting Georgia off coal rather than converting the transportation fleet to coal burning.

Georgia’s use of coal already exceeds it’s use of gasoline as measured by BTUs.

1/3 of Georgia’s electricity comes from coal. Renewables are a minuscule portion and will continue to be well into the future.

Depends what your priorities are, and how you think it’s best to accomplish your goals.

Yup, it is a scientific fact that some people *can* walk and chew gum at the same time.

I’ve read somewhere that Georgia Power is also starting some serious solar. Don’t have the link – oh, here it is: committing to sign contracts for 210 MW solar by the end of this year. Not super-huge (a little over 1% of their existing total capacity) – but a start, and more than double their existing solar contracts:
http://www.georgiapower.com/about-energy/energy-sources/solar/asi/advanced-solar-initiative.cshtml

CherylG was on here the other day promoting the virtues of dealership franchises. Now it’s the be wary of EVs because they burn coal talking points. I wonder company CherylG is trolling for?

EVs burn coal so they are no better than gas burners. Another weak talking point. Georgia produces less than half of their power from coal. 4 nuclear plants with 2 more on the way. Also growing renewable portfolio. So I don’t see a report that says refined gasoline is going to be getting cleaner in the next few decades.

“Georgia’s four existing nuclear reactor units accounted for 26 percent of the State’s net electricity generation in 2011; coal accounted for 48 percent, natural gas for 21 percent, and renewable energy for 5 percent. In February 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Burke County. “

while EV do consume coal based energy , the gas/petro needs enery to extract and transport, which in some cases ( oil sand) is greater than the energy provided by the gas. It is mainly because gas energy sells at 4 times the Electric energy price

I hope the EV companies have the foresight to build as many EV’s as possible while this is going on to sell in Gerogia even if they have to move shipments of EV’s from California’s hard core EV counties to this state.

Great job Tim Echols and Don Francis for getting on this early!

It…L I V E S!!!! : )

Typical Asshat politician. This credit has been on the books for over ten years. Now that there are actually viable vehicles manufactured that can take advantage of it, Asshat wants to repeal it? This guy needs to go. Hey Rep. Martin, go suck on your SUV tailpipe for about 20 minutes or until you see the white light.

This is one of the only ways people who actually pay Georgia income taxes can recover some of it.

As the price of fuel goes up, it makes even more sense.

Atlanta and Georgia still have a long way to go to create a charging infrastructure that will encourage more EV ownership.

I hope the EV tax credit is continued. My lease isn’t up until mid-2015! If still in place, I will likely purchase a new LEAF and drive it for many, many years.

The number of Nissan LEAF vehicles I see on Georgia 400 every morning is a testament to how the tax credit is working to clear the air and reduce reliance on foreign oil.