Future Agenda: Rethink the tax credit on electric vehicles

Sustainability scientist Ryan Cornell has contributed to Future Agenda, a series from Future Tense in which experts suggest specific, forward-looking actions the new Biden administration should implement. The article is entitled It’s Time to Rethink the Tax Credit on Electric Vehicles.

According to Cornell, we must decouple our economy from fossil fuels and electrify all aspects of our daily lives. While there has been a recent focus on the final pieces of the electrification puzzle (shipping, airlines, steel production), Cornell says we shouldn’t ignore the comparatively low-hanging fruit that is the automotive transportation sector.

“Transportation accounts for 28 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and my research demonstrates that we could cut per-automobile lifetime emissions from 66.4 tons to 6.3 tons of CO2 by charging cars with renewables, Cornell says. “Most importantly, the technology exists to make it happen.”

A modification of the current electric vehicle tax credit would be the quickest and simplest way for the Biden administration to accelerate the adoption of EVs. This type of subsidy is not a panacea, but the EV tax credit has one distinct advantage over all other options: It’s already been implemented. Read the full article on Slate.