Up and Down Effect on EV Sales From the Phase Out and Loss of Federal Tax Credit

There are lots of factors affecting sales of individual EV models in the US – range, cost, brand, attractiveness, access to fast charging networks, competitive models, and more. In my latest EVAdoption analysis, the US federal EV tax credit in my opinion has NOT had a significant impact on EV sales – except during the quarters preceding a reduction/or loss entirely of the credit.

In the chart below (article coming soon that includes analysis on the Tesla Model 3) you can see that sales of the Chevrolet Bolt have gone up and down – but have actually been higher in several quarters when the federal EV tax credit declined or ended entirely. The credit’s biggest impact is in the quarters before it declines. In Q4 of 2018, one quarter before the full $7,500 credit was cut in half, the Bolt had its third highest quarterly sales in its history. And Q1 2020, the final quarter with any tax credit amount ($1,875), the Bolt had its highest sales since Q4 of 2017.

Overall, the tax credit is hugely flawed and has had minimal impact on increasing EV adoption in the US. We’ve gone from 0% EV share of new vehicle sales in 10 years of the tax credit to ~2.5%. It is time to not just tweak but to blow up the mess that is the federal EV tax credit.  

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