GM calls for tax credit extension to boost US electric car sales

Automotive giant, which plans to invest $27 billion in alternative energy and self-driving vehicles over next five years, asks Biden administration to build more charging stations

GM calls for tax credit extension to boost US electric car sales
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, gestures next to the redesigned mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in 2019. Reuss called for the $7,500 EV tax credit to be extended beyond the 200,000 unit sales limit. File photo by Reuters. 

(ATF) The head of General Motors has called on Washington to extend tax credits for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and supply chains and create more incentives for drivers to buy alternative energy cars.

Mark Reuss, GM president, also asked Joe Biden's administration to finance more charging stations. "2021 is the tipping point toward EVs," he said in a post on LinkedIn, the business social media platform.

Biden has called for 500,000 new charging stations to speed EV adoption. He supports expanding tax credits for consumers.

In January, GM said it was setting a dramatic goal to sell all its new cars, SUVs and light pickup trucks with zero emissions by 2035, a dramatic shift by the largest US automaker away from petrol and diesel engines.

Reuss called for the $7,500 EV tax credit to be extended beyond the 200,000 unit sales limit. GM hit that threshold in late 2018.

GM sold 2.55 million vehicles in the US last year, but only about 20,000 were EVs, mostly the Chevrolet Bolt.

The company said in November it was investing $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, up from $20 billion planned before the coronavirus pandemic.

Total US EV sales in 2020 fell to 296,000, down from 331,000 in 2019, according to S&P Global Platts, accounting for 2% of total US vehicle sales even as other markets in Asia and Europe see an increasing uptake.

"EV sales in China jumped 8% last year versus our forecast for the market to shrink," noted Ding Yuqian, head of automotive research at HSBC in Shanghai.

In Europe, Norway led the transition with a rise of EV sales of 54% in 2020, followed by the Netherlands (20%) and Sweden (10%), according to ING research.

With reporting by Reuters

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