In the short term, changes to the EV tax credit are likely to “eliminate a lot of vehicles from being eligible,” Harto said.
For example, cars not assembled in North America are expected to be automatically ineligible. Currently, such vehicles can be found from Hyundai, Kia and Toyota, among others, according to Consumer Reports.
Other models of cars, no matter where they are assembled, are too expensive to qualify. To qualify for the credit, new EVs, vans, SUVs or pickup trucks can’t cost more than $80,000, while other types of vehicles can’t cost more than $55,000. Used EVs may qualify if their value does not exceed $25,000. A list of cars compiled by Consumer Reports that may not qualify because of their price tag includes some Teslas, several BMWs, and others depending on the vehicle’s modifications.
In the long run, however, the new EV incentives could be a major improvement over the current tax credit system, Harto said. “It really helps middle-class Americans buy EVs. They may have to wait another two years” for automakers to adapt to the new standards and increase vehicle supply.
Although the new manufacturing requirements may be a “high bar to clear,” the existing vehicle cap may have made it difficult for many people to buy popular EVs that qualify for tax credits, said Leah Stokes, associate professor of the company. Environmental Politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The current EV tax credit is basically non-existent for the majority of EVs that Americans buy,” Stokes said, adding that several popular vehicle manufacturers have reached the sales limit.
What’s more, regardless of the tax law in effect, one aspect of the EV market is likely to remain unchanged, Foley said.Every year, “some cars qualify, some don’t.”
“It’s because of the high restrictions on individual companies at the moment,” he said. “For the future, who will have the batteries that meet the criteria?”