Democrats want $150 B in extra funding for electric vehicles

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WASHINGTON, Aug 11 - A group of 29 U.S. House Democrats want congressional leaders to include at least $150 billion in additional funding for electric vehicles as part of a $3.5 trillion spending measure, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

A bipartisan 1 billion infrastructure bill includes $7.5 billion for other EV-related charging stations and electric vehicle related funding estimated at $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion.

In March, President Joe Biden called for $174 billion in total spending on electric vehicles, including $100 billion in consumer incentives and $15 billion to build 500,000 EV charging stations.

The previously unreported letter dated Wednesday said Congress should ensure at least $174 billion in total EV funding including light-duty user incentives, EV charging infrastructure funding, EV manufacturing incentives, federal EV procurement requirements and incentives to electrify heavy-duty commercial fleets.

They also want to ensure that no less than 40% of the investments go to disadvantaged communities.

The Representative Doris Matsui, who led the letter, cited a U.N. climate panel report this week that found global warming is about to spiral out of control.

Robust EV investments are critical to the challenges of climate crisis, and we must be willing to take bold steps to build a better future, she said.

On Tuesday a separate group of Democratic lawmakers said they wanted $85 billion for electric vehicle charging efforts.

The push faces opposition from Republicans. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 51 - 48 in support of a non binding amendment to prohibit taxpayers from claiming EV tax credits if they make more than $100,000 a year or if the vehicles cost more than $40,000.

Republican Senator Deb Fischer, the amendment author, asked why we're subsidizing this industry at all and said lawmakers should not deny taxpayer subsidies to the rich.

A Senate committee in May voted to expand the credit to up to $12,500, limiting credits for vehicles below $80,000.

Michigan Democrat Senator Amy Fischer has rejected Debbie Stabenow's amendment calling it anti-pickup truck. She said the price ceiling would mean EV pickups would not be eligible for credits.

The current maximum tax credit is $7,500 with no maximum vehicle price and phase out for individual automakers once they surpass 200,000 total EVs sold.

General Motors Co, Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Co said in a joint statement last week they aspired to achieve sales of 40% - 50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles by 2030. Automakers said that hitting that ambitious goal would require hefty government EV spending.