Musk Says US Government Should Stay Out of Electric Vehicle Space

Election Campaign CDU - Laschet and Musk visit Tesla Factory, Grünheide, Brandenburg, Germany - 13 Aug 2021
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President Joe Biden might want to Build Back Better by offering government incentives to boost the electric vehicle industry, but it appears Elon Musk would rather take a wrecking ball to the whole idea. The Tesla CEO and world’s richest person said “it might be better” if Biden’s spending bill doesn’t pass — and aimed much of his vitriol at EV subsidies.

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Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Summit, Musk said he would “just can the whole bill” and added that the government should “get rid of all subsidies” and “get out of the way.”

“Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t,” he said. “Delete it.”

The Build Back Better (BBB) Act earmarks $1.8 trillion for social programs and efforts to battle climate change. It has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently being reviewed by the Senate.

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Among other things, the bill would provide a tax credit as high as $12,500 for consumers who buy electric vehicles built by union workers in the United States, Forbes reported. Consumers who buy EVs built in non-union factories — including those made by Tesla — would get much smaller tax credits.

As GOBankingRates recently reported, the BBB plan provides a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of a new non-union EV, plug-in hybrid car or electric motorcycle.

Musk said he opposes all federal subsidies, including those for the oil and gas industries, because they add to the federal deficit. He has also pushed back against Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which has already won Congressional approval and been signed into law. That bill includes $7.5 billion for new EV charging stations — something Musk said is “unnecessary.”

See: You Don’t Need To Be Rich To Go Green With the Build Back Better Proposed Incentives
Find: Why the Build Back Better Plan Impacts You More Directly Than The Infrastructure Bill

But part of Musk’s opposition might have roots in his occasional run-ins with the federal government. That includes an SEC investigation into whistleblower complaints about the safety of its solar panel systems in Tesla cars, Fortune reported.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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