Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Give Elon Musk More Money Act! Legislators Propose Extending EV Credits To Tesla And GM

That Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur is true, sadly one of the ways he’s a great entrepreneur is in his ability to suck taxpayer subsidies into his projects. Tesla, as an example, has waxed fat off the $7,500 credit for buying an electric vehicle, an EV. That credit is now half what it was for Tesla and disappears entirely soon – not good for Tesla’s bottom line or, possibly, its ability to survive. So, what do we see being introduced? A bill to extend Tesla’s eligibility for those credits. Vastly increase Musk’s access to your and my money that is.

The proper name for this is the Give Elon Musk More Money Act:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] A bipartisan group of lawmakers plans to introduce a bill to expand federal tax credits for buyers of electric vehicles, in what could be a boon for the growing EV market. The existing $7,500 tax credit for buyers of EVs phases out over 15 months once an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars. The tax credit for Tesla buyers was halved to $3,750 on Jan. 1; General Motor’s tax credit was likewise cut in half starting April 1. [/perfectpullquote]

That argument in favour of such subsidies is that they aid in getting a project up off the ground and into mass manufacturing. Which it has done. The argument for increasing or extending it is, well, umm, give Elon more cash?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Reuters reports that Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins and Democratic Representative Dan Kildee are introducing a bill today called ‘Driving America Forward Act’. The main change that the bill would bring is an additional $7,000 tax credit for another 400,000 vehicles after an automaker reaches the original 200,000 vehicle threshold. [/perfectpullquote]

DAFA? No, not really. GEMMMA perhaps.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The bill is backed by major automakers including GM, Tesla, Toyota Motor Corp, Ford Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG, Nissan Motor Co, Volkswagen AG and utilities.[/perfectpullquote]

Sure they do. They get to have bundles more of our money. Why wouldn’t they like that?

And yet, well, why should we all be giving more money to Elon Musk? He’s already got tens of billions more than we do, right? Further, Tesla’s had their chance to show they can make their cars work. Maybe they’ve even shown they can. But given that they are now in mass manufacturing no more support is justified. We’ve already subsidised them enough, we’re done.

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