Elon Musk calls for the Senate not to pass the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act and says Tesla doesn’t need the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles.
However, his concerns appear to be more about federal spending and the deficit.
The Biden administration’s Build Back Better Act is currently being discussed in the Senate, and it has been a big subject in the EV community since it contains the reform to the federal electric vehicle incentive.
It removes the limit of 200,000 EV deliveries per manufacturer and increases the incentives from $12,500, but $4,500 of that can only be accessed if the electric vehicles are coming from US factories that are unionized.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has complained about that section of the bill, which he believes GM is behind, but he now commented more broadly on the situation.
At a Wall Street Journal conference yesterday, Musk called to kill the whole bill:
Going back to the infrastructure bill, there’s this idea that Tesla always gets subsidies, but it’s important to note that the vehicle purchase tax credit that $7,500, Tesla stop getting that like 2 years ago. Everyone else, except for GM, still get the federal tax credit. So all of our sales from this year and last year had nothing to do with the tax credit because we were no longer eligible because we made so many electric cars. Tesla has made roughly two-thirds of all the electric cars in the United States. I am not sure if most people are aware of that. We don’t need the $7,500 tax credit. I would say… can the whole bill. Don’t pass it, that’s my recommendation.
What Musk says is true, Tesla has been selling about two-thirds of all battery-electric vehicles in the US and doing so without access to the tax credit over the last two years.
The host of the conference asked Musk about subsidies for EV charging in the bill.
Musk also said that it wouldn’t be needed:
Unnecessary. Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t. So there’s no need for a charging network. I would delete it. Delete.
However, it looks like there was some confusion there because the subsidies for charging infrastructure were part of a separate infrastructure bill that already became law last month.
As for the Build Back Better Act, Musk’s main concern appears to be the federal deficit:
Honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass. We’ve spent so much money, the federal budget deficit is insane. It’s like $3 trillion. Federal expenditures are $7 trillion. Federal revenues are $3 trillion. If it was a company, it would be a $3 trillion dollar loss. I don’t know we should be adding to that loss. Something gotta give. You can’t just spend $3 trillion more than you own every year and don’t expect something bad to happen.
On the other hand, Musk did admit that the US needs some infrastructure investments:
I think we generally could have better airports, better highways, and especially in cities that are congested, we have to do something about extreme traffic, which I think can be done with double deckering freeways and building tunnels. If we don’t do something, we will be stuck in traffic forever.
But he was adamant that the Build Back Better Act was not it.
The CEO added:
I am literally saying get rid of all subsidies, but also for oil and gas.
The bill is still being discussed in the Senate and is expected to be updated before going back to a vote.
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