GM says U.S. should extend consumer, investment tax credits to boost electric vehicles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors President Mark Reuss said Thursday the U.S. government should extend new investment tax credits for electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains and expand consumer incentives to electric vehicle purchases, including for used vehicles.

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In a LinkedIn post, Reuss also called on U.S. policymakers to invest “in infrastructure that includes fast-charging stations, particularly in urban areas and along highway corridors.”

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

“2021 is the tipping point toward EVs,” Reuss said Thursday in his post.

Reuss also called again for the $7,500-EV tax credit to be extended to more vehicles. GM hit the 200,000 cumulative EV vehicle sales threshold in late 2018 and the credit fully expired for all GM EV buyers in April 2020.

GM sold 2.55 million vehicles in the United States last year, but only about 20,000 were EVs, including the Chevy Bolt hatchback. It 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 U.S. 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 U.S. vehicle sales.

President Joe Biden has called for 500,000 new charging stations to speed electric vehicle adoption and backs expanding tax credits for consumers and for retool factories to build EVs and components.

During a Washington Post forum Thursday, Reuss said the company was focused on EVs.

“We definitely bet the future on battery electric vehicles - not plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” Reuss said. “We’re going all the way. We’re going as fast as we can. That’s the bet we have.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski