Tesla Joins GM, Nissan to Press for Extended Electric Car Credit

(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. and other automakers that are set to lose access to a lucrative tax credit for electric vehicles are teaming in a new lobbying drive to have the federal incentive extended.

The EV Drive Coalition, which also includes General Motors Co. and the Nissan Motor Co., formally launches Tuesday with the goal of getting Congress to extend the $7,500 per-vehicle consumer tax credit.

The incentive is credited with helping establish the nascent market for electric cars, but it starts to phase down once a manufacturer sells 200,000 of the vehicles. Tesla reached that limit in July and GM is expected to reach that cutoff later this year or early next year, said Salim Morsy, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Nissan has sold about 125,000 electric vehicles as of September of this year, Morsy said in an email.

Legislation modifying the cap has been introduced in both chambers of Congress and could be included in an expected push to extend expiring tax credits during the lame duck session of Congress that begins Tuesday.

The coalition, which also counts the Arlington, Virginia, environmental group Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the conservative group the Christian Coalition as members, says lifting the cap would sustain jobs and benefit the environment.

“A federal tax credit to help make electric vehicles more affordable for all consumers is integral to reaching a zero emissions future and establishing the U.S. as the leader in electrification,” said Dan Turton, GM’s vice president of public policy. “We feel that the tax credit should be modified so all customers continue to receive the full benefit going forward.”

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