Are Electric Cars Worth the Taxpayer Charge?

Letter to editor of The Wall Street Journal (published Jan. 7) in response to editorial (“The Electric Kool-Aid Subsidy Test,” Dec. 31) :

It is fine to suggest that the tax credit for electric vehicles should be given an end date, but let’s remember that the purpose behind it was to invest in innovation to speed the transition to a cleaner economy. In that sense it has been a big success: Last August EV manufacturer Tesla passed General Motors to become America’s most valuable carmaker, and finished 2018 with a market capitalization of $57 billion compared with $47 billion for GM. Tesla’s recent growth has been driven by sales of its Model 3 vehicle, which is America’s top-selling car by revenue.

Why should we cut off the incentive to buy Teslas and other EVs while we continue to subsidize fossil fuels so massively? Oil Change International estimates that the U.S. spends more than $20 billion annually to support oil and gas exploration and production. As long as the price of fossil fuels fails to cover their external costs to society—such as higher rates of lung cancer, heart disease and asthma, in addition to the costs of climate change—we will be subsidizing the energy system of the past.

We need incentives that will enable our country to lead the world in producing the cars of the future. That means continuing to invest in EVs.

William C. Eacho

Partnership for Responsible Growth