U.S. Democratic senator reveals US$462-billion program to get Americans into EVs
|driving.ca 27 Oct 2019 at 03:03|
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a press conference with other Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty
The U.S.’ Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, is moving Democrats’ climate talk to where the rubber meets the road, proposing a US$462-billion trade-in program to get millions of Americans out of climate-damaging gas vehicles and into electric or hybrid cars over the next decade.
Schumer’s rebate proposal late Thursday joins a mix of trillion- and multi-trillion-dollar programs that Democratic presidential candidates have outlined to urgently cut oil, gas and coal emissions, as climate change weighs as an issue in the 2020 campaigns.
Schumer said the “proposal to bring clean cars to all of America” would be a key part of climate legislation by Senate Democrats. The injection of government-supported spending for electric cars “could position the U.S. to lead the world in clean auto manufacturing,” he said.
The New York Democrat’s plan would give American car buyers thousands of dollars each to trade in gas-burning cars for U.S.-assembled electric, hybrid or hydrogen cell cars. Lower-income households, and buyers of cars with American-made parts, would get extra credits.
About US$45 billion would go to boost availability of charging stations and other electric car infrastructure. And US$17 billion would help automakers increase their production of electric cars, batteries and parts.
He didn’t outline how he would pay for the plan.
It’s the opposite direction of President Donald Trump, who has sought to boost U.S. oil and gas production, eliminate tax credits for electric cars, and has mocked electric cars outright. Some Republican lawmakers call the credits an unfair subsidy for what they depict as well-off electric vehicle owners.
Schumer, who contends the scheme would create tens of thousands of jobs, pledged to introduce his clean-car program in Senate legislation should Democrats win control there next year.
Climate change has become an issue in 2020 campaigns as never before in the United States. Even as polls show climate falling below other issues in terms of priority, an AP-NORC poll conducted earlier this year found that most Americans link worsening extreme weather to man-made global warming. Democrats are more likely than others to consider climate issues a high priority for the country.