Reprinted from Heartland Signal
Kate Ly Johnston, Heartland Signal
JD Vance said he opposes electric vehicle tax credits for only helping wealthy people and China, despite the provisions helping to bring EV manufacturing and thousands of jobs into the U.S. and Ohio.
The Donald Trump-endorsed Republican nominee in Ohio’s Senate race criticized the $740 billion Democrat spending bill that the U.S. Senate narrowly passed in August. He particularly opposed a provision that would award a $7,500 federal tax credit to someone buying a new electric vehicle, and a $4,000 credit for a used one.
The EV tax credit only applies to vehicles manufactured in and using parts from North America, NPR reported ― the batteries can’t have any components from China. This caveat is meant to bring more EV production into North America and to make EVs more affordable to a wider range of people. However, Vance criticized it for only helping “rich people.”
“What it basically does is subsidize rich people to buy electric vehicles at the expense of the Ohio automotive industry,” Vance said during a Fox Business interview in August.
The “Hillbilly Elegy” author and one-time investment banker also told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily in July that he thinks President Joe Biden’s “war on American energy” facilitates the loss of manufacturing jobs to China, despite the provision’s goal to bring more EV production across the supply chain into the U.S.
“When you subsidize, let’s say, electric vehicle technology, what you’re really subsidizing is the country that manufactures all that technology, which is China,” Vance said. “So you’re subsidizing a country that hates us [and] that is building its middle class off the backs of ours.”
Since the bill’s passing, several car companies and battery manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors and LG have invested billions of dollars in new electric vehicle factories in Ohio alone, which would create thousands of new jobs for Ohio workers.
General Motors announced this week that a new electric vehicle battery plant built in Ohio has started producing cells so customers could get tax credits, ABC reported. And their Ultium Cells facility they’re building with LG Energy Solution would add “more than 1,100 talented employees in the Northeast Ohio region,” their website reads.
Ford also announced it would spend $1.5 billion to have their Lorain County plant outfitted to build EVs, which would double the plant’s workforce creating 1,800 new hourly jobs, according to a press release from Jobs Ohio.
And all of this is likely to accelerate, as the bellwether state of California recently approved a plan to eliminate new gasoline-powered vehicle purchases in the state by 2035.
But Vance tweeted a video in July in which he called EV tax credits a “joke,” demanding more tax credits for Ohio workers instead.
“We need to double down on American energy and on America’s workers,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to bring Ohio back.”
Vance’s team did not respond to a request for comment.
He and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan are head-to-head in the race for Senate, with the two candidates in a near tie in polling ahead of this November’s election.