Toyota Motor Corp. and Tesla Inc. clashed with Ford Motor Co. and the UAW over a proposal by Democrats in the U.S. House to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive.
Toyota on Monday said the plan includes “exorbitant” tax breaks for the wealthy.
Toyota is one of several non-unionized automakers complaining about a 10-year plan emerging in Congress to offer incentives of as much as $12,500 for people to buy EVs — as long as they are built by union-represented workers. Buyers of vehicles from non-union shops such as Toyota, Tesla and Honda Motor Co. would be limited to credits of about $7,500, a structure that would favor traditional manufacturers from Detroit.
The proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee would give large tax credits on vehicles that cost as much as some people’s homes and “electric cars shouldn’t just be for rich people,” the automaker said Monday in a letter to the panel’s leaders. As proposed, the credits would be available to car buyers with annual incomes as high as $400,000 for an individual, $600,000 for heads of household and $800,000 for couples.
“We urge you to reject using the country’s limited resources to give exorbitant tax breaks to those wealthy enough to buy high-priced cars and trucks,” 11 Toyota executives from 10 states wrote in a joint letter to the committee leaders. Not all of the plan is bad, they said: “The proposed $7,500 tax credit for EVs makes these vehicles more accessible to Americans of modest means, and we support it.”