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Senator Reverend Warnock Pushes Biden Administration for Maximum Flexibility to Ensure Georgia Car Buyers, Manufacturers Benefit from Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

Government and Politics

September 24, 2022


In a new letter, Senator Reverend Warnock urged Biden Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to allow maximum flexibility in implementing the Inflation Reduction Act law to ensure Georgia car buyers, manufacturers can take full advantage of expanded tax credits for electric vehicles

Senator Reverend Warnock: “I urge you to offer maximum flexibility for vehicle manufacturers and consumers to take full advantage of the electric vehicle (EV) tax credits available under the law”

Letter follows concerns from Hyundai and other Georgia automakers that local car manufacturers and consumers would not benefit fully from the EV tax credits under the law, as currently written

Senator Reverend Warnock: “Federal regulations that are overly prescriptive and burdensome will hamper our efforts to achieve these important goals. Such regulations could reduce competition within the EV market and punish the very manufacturers currently making large domestic investments in EV capacity—ultimately harming Georgia’s workers and consumers.”

ICYMI from the Associated Press: US Sen. Warnock: Electric car tax credit needs ‘flexibility’

Washington, D.C. – Today, in a new letter, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to grant maximum flexibility in implementing the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit provisions signed into law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, to ensure that EVs being made by Georgia automakers can qualify for the strengthened tax credits and that Georgians can take full advantage of the credit to purchase a Georgia-built EV. Currently, the law requires manufacturers to complete final production of their vehicles in the United States, Canada or Mexico, which would make EVs made by Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Kia brand, ineligible for the tax credit until the completion of Hyundai’s Bryan County production facility—limiting Georgians’ options to purchase an EV in Georgia.

“I urge you to offer maximum flexibility for vehicle manufacturers and consumers to take full advantage of the electric vehicle (EV) tax credits available under the law,” wrote Senator Warnock to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Without changes to the law or permissive regulations, some of Georgia’s EV manufacturers likely will not fully benefit from these tax credits available to EV buyers for several years. The Inflation Reduction Act allows the Treasury Department flexibility in how the Department defines different components of the law when writing regulations. In his letter, Senator Warnock pushed Secretary Yellen to use this flexibility to guard against crafting “burdensome regulations” that would harm Georgia car makers:

“The EV tax credit is a common-sense solution that will increase access to cutting-edge EVs for Georgia families, helping to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help create clean energy jobs in Georgia and across the country,” wrote Senator Warnock. “However, federal regulations that are overly prescriptive and burdensome will hamper our efforts to achieve these important goals. Such regulations could reduce competition within the EV market and punish the very manufacturers currently making large domestic investments in EV capacity—ultimately harming Georgia’s workers and consumers.”

Senator Warnock has been a vocal champion for creating green jobs and reducing America’s reliance on fossil fuels. In February, Senator Warnock announced that he secured nearly $20 million in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out Georgia’s EV infrastructure network across the state. Additionally, Senator Warnock has been in frequent contact with Hyundai about the auto manufacturer’s footprint and future in Georgia, and has encouraged efforts on the federal level to bolster the company’s presence—as well as EV and EV battery manufacturing, in general—in the state.

The full letter can be found below:

Dear Secretary Yellen:

As the Department of Treasury works swiftly to issue regulations in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), I urge you to offer maximum flexibility for vehicle manufacturers and consumers to take full advantage of the electric vehicle (EV) tax credits available under the law.

By passing the IRA, Congress took a crucial step in addressing the challenges we face now and preparing for those to come. This historic legislation delivers for Georgians by lowering health care costs, reducing the deficit, and tackling the climate crisis—which has already affected many communities throughout Georgia, especially low-income and historically marginalized communities.

I have been a proud champion of green jobs in Georgia, and the IRA has great potential to create good-paying jobs throughout the state and nation. However, the extent of its success will depend heavily on the Biden administration’s implementation strategy. That is particularly true with respect to the changes made to the federal EV tax credit in an effort to increase consumer adoption and reduce harmful emissions.

The EV tax credit is a common-sense solution that will increase access to cutting-edge EVs for Georgia families, helping to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help create clean energy jobs in Georgia and across the country.

However, federal regulations that are overly prescriptive and burdensome will hamper our efforts to achieve these important goals. Such regulations could reduce competition within the EV market and punish the very manufacturers currently making large domestic investments in EV capacity—ultimately harming Georgia’s workers and consumers.

The Congressional intent of the IRA is to make EVs more affordable for more Americans to address the urgency of climate change while sparking clean energy jobs across the country. I am committed to ensuring that the IRA is implemented in a way that serves this important goal. To that end, I urge Treasury to adopt regulations that make EV tax credits accessible to as many consumers as possible, as quickly as possible, in a manner that promotes economic growth, job creation, and climate resiliency.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to navigate the challenges of a once-in-a-generation pandemic and the economic challenges created by supply chain disruptions and geopolitical conflict. Georgia has benefited from our combined efforts, but more work is required to support our continued economic recovery. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you in strengthening our economy’s resiliency and position on the world stage.

Sincerely,