EV Investments Show a First Step in Jumpstarting Our Economy | Alliance to Save Energy
05/20/20 : Rick Tempchin

EV Investments Show a First Step in Jumpstarting Our Economy

Alliance blog

For the past two months, Congress has been working overtime to pass bills that will keep businesses and individuals afloat during the pandemic.

But as states across the country slowly begin to reopen their economies, we know that Congress will need to shift its focus to passing bills that will create badly needed jobs.

Last Thursday, we got a glimpse of the types of stimulus and recovery solutions in store: Alliance Honorary Advisor Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the Securing America’s Clean Fuels Infrastructure Act (S.3735), which would extend and expand the existing Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Investment Tax Credit – colloquially known as “30C.”

The credit, which is set to expire at the end of the year, currently provides a 30% investment tax credit for alternative fueling infrastructure, which includes electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The bill would extend the credit until 2028 and raise the cap on business investments from $30,000 to $200,000. It would also remedy the current interpretation of the credit by allowing the cap to be used on a per-device basis, rather than on a per-location basis. This is a welcome modification, as the current iteration of the credit makes it difficult to finance multiple charging stations at one location.

Incentivizing the installation of EV charging packs a one-two punch for our economy: it will put thousands of electricians and construction workers back to work and will help Americans reduce their burdensome transportation costs. A transition to an EV-powered transportation system would mean deep savings for drivers: The Department of Energy finds that, on average, it costs about half as much to fill up an EV than a conventionally fueled counterpart.

But in order for Americans to make this switch, our nation must overcome the pervasive “chicken-and-egg problem” that has stunted the EV market: folks are hesitant to buy EVs without widespread EV charging infrastructure, yet charging companies and utilities are hesitant to install charging infrastructure without a large pool of EV drivers.

The Securing America’s Clean Fuels Infrastructure Act helps address this problem.  

The 30C credit revisions are supported by the Alliance and its 50x50 Action Network, a group of stakeholders committed to passing policies that will reduce our nation’s transportation energy use by 50% by 2050. It’s an ambitious goal, but we know that extending and modifying 30C is a running start. We hope we can tag lawmakers in the relay.

Learn more about the Alliance’s transportation priorities here.