Over the last month, the automotive industry has been awash with discussion surrounding the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — specifically, which vehicles will (and will not) qualify for the tax credit offered. While the IRA promises to “boost the US economy and transition to clean, sustainable energy,” the EV tax credit of up to US$7,500 for new EVs and US$4,000 for used ones requires automakers to meet strict requirements which could, unfortunately, disqualify many popular models.
With this in mind, Georgia Senator Reverend Warnock just introduced a new bill that aims to expand which electric vehicles qualify for a tax credit by giving automakers like Hyundai a “grace period” to build and assemble EVs in North America.
According to reports, Senator Warnock’s new bill aims to lower the costs of owning an electric vehicle by working with foreign automakers planning to manufacture in the US. Georgia, in particular, has been identified as a manufacturing hotspot for foreign automakers hoping to establish production facilities in North America. To this effect, Hyundai recently announced plans for its first EV plant in Bryan County, Georgia, with a proposed investment of over US$5.5 billion. At the time, Hyundai planned for construction on the facility to begin in 2023 but, in the wake of the IRA passing, the automaker is rumoured to be adjusting that timeline.
With the Affordable Electric Vehicles for America Act, the “phase-in period” for automakers like Hyundai to meet the specific requirements of the IRA bill would be delayed, which would subsequently expanding the EV tax credit.
“I’m focused squarely on helping Georgia car buyers save money and helping car manufacturers who do business in our state thrive,” shared Warnock. “The Affordable Electric Vehicles for America Act will lower costs for Georgians and provide consumers more options when purchasing an electric vehicle, while also supporting good-paying jobs across our state and bolstering Georgia automakers like Hyundai. I’m going to do everything I can to get this bill over the finish line.”
This new bill would extend the battery provision until 2025 and manufacturing requirements to 2026, which would allow more EVs to qualify for the tax credit whilst also giving foreign automakers more time to establish operations in North America.
“Here we have a partner (Hyundai) working with the federal government to create green energy jobs and a clean energy future,” added Warnock. “We ought to incentivize them in that work while at the same time encouraging manufacturing in America, which they are doing.”