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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Trump's threats to pull electric car subsidies could kill U.S. jobs and give China an edge

Trump’s actions could allow Asian and European carmakers to take pole position in a fast-moving market.

President Donald Trump’s threat to eliminate tax credits for all electric vehicles could create potential chaos for an auto industry that is just ramping up its roll-out of battery-based vehicles that are sleek, efficient, family friendly — and growing in popularity.

More importantly, Trump’s actions could hit U.S. automakers particularly hard, and allow Asian and European manufacturers to take the lead — ironically, hurting U.S. demand and potentially reducing domestic jobs, observers warn.

While hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, currently account for less than 4 percent of total U.S. new vehicle sales, it’s a burgeoning market. This month’s Los Angeles Auto Show saw a flood of new all-electric models being introduced, ranging from a high-performance Audi sports car to a full-size Rivian pick-up truck.

But the EV market could come unplugged if the Trump administration follows through on threats to cancel the tax credits upon which many buyers have counted.


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