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Who Killed the Electric Car? Again?

Last weeks Republican Tax Proposal would eliminate the $7,500 income tax credit for electric vehicles. The impact would be devastating to the emergent electric car industry and adversely impact consumers and the environment. A New York City employee said, “it’s national suicide.”

In 1990, The California Air Resources Board (CARB), created a “zero-emissions vehicle mandate” requiring auto manufacturers that sold cars in California to offer an electric car model. The General Motors (GM) EV-1 electric cars, were loved by consumers, but after the mandate expired, GM repossessed the cars and destroyed them.

In 2006 an independent documentary explored the life and death of the EV-1 electric car. Actors Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks and Alexandra Paul are in the documentary film praising the car. As GM trucks were taking EV-1 cars away to be crushed, police stood guard and Ms. Paul was arrested, while protesting the death of her electric car.

I picked up an electric car in 2016 mainly due to the tax credits. Now it seems odd to visit a gas station. The car is clean and quiet.

In a replay of the California mandate in 1990, this month China announced an initiative: by 2025, 20% of all cars sold are to be electric. Warren Buffett backed, BYD (electric vehicle company based in China) has delivered over 50,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles – including busses to UCLA. China already leads the world in the number of electric cars produced with an estimate of nearly 300 thousand new electric cars on the road this year.

Where is our clean energy policy and who is leading our industry into the future? GM, Ford and Renault-Nissan are setting up electric car research ventures in China. The Warren Buffett backed BYD share price is up 50% since September 2017.

Are we repeating history and pushing our cart backwards? Or can industry lead the way without being impacted by government obstacles?

Solar Forward installs solar systems and electric car chargers every week. As a new industry we rely on incentives to enable the market to establish a foot hold. We ask for your support in contacting your legislators and letting them know it is in the economic interest of this country and the interest of our grandchildren’s lungs, to support green technologies and enable the electric car industry and ancillary businesses to thrive.

Mark Smith
CEO Solar Forward