Georgia's breaks for electric vehicles may be too good to last
OLIVIA PEDERSEN thought the Nissan Leaf parked outside her favourite lunch spot near Emory University, must be hers. But she could not open the door. Nor could she open the door of the identical Leaf behind it. Cautiously, she tried the third Leaf in line and happily drove away. More than 14,000 electric vehicles are now registered in Georgia; California is the only state with more. But the juicy state incentives for buying them are coming under attack.
Residents can claim an income-tax credit for 20% of the cost of leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle, up to $5,000. Combined with a possible federal tax incentive worth $7,500, savvy Georgians are driving all the way to the bank in nearly-free electric cars. Nissan sells more of its Leaf models in Atlanta than in any other city, according to Don Francis from Clean Cities-Georgia, which promotes the use of cars like these.
民众表示收入税中有20%用于租赁或购买电动车，高达5000美元。价值7500美元的联邦税收激励政策或出台，精明的乔治亚人全程驾驶免费的电动车前往银行。来自清洁城市——乔治亚（Clean Cities-Georgia）的唐·弗朗西斯表示，在亚特兰大州，日产汽车售车数位居全美第一；Clean Cities-Georgia致力宣传这种车的用途。
Such trends motivated Chuck Martin, a representative in Georgia's House, to sponsor a bill to end state incentives for electric vehicles. He argues that the income-tax credit costs too much—about $13.6m in 2013—and that only urban types benefit from these sorts of cars. Mr Martin's bill was voted down in committee in February, but seems to be still breathing. Another House bill, mostly to finance transport projects, would reduce the credits; it is now before the Senate.
Fans of electric vehicles say Georgia now leads the country in clean transport. Local power companies have helped by offering off-peak prices of 1.3 cents per kilowatt hour for charging the cars at night. And the sales tax levied on this power stays in the state, whereas cash spent on petrol largely goes elsewhere, says Jeff Cohen, founder of the Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition.
电动车迷说道，如今，乔治亚州带领全州使用环保的交通工具。当地电力公司也积极响应，并提供低电价即1.3美分每瓦，供居民晚上充电。亚特兰大电动车发展联合公司创始人杰夫·科恩（ Jeff Cohen）称，对该电力公司所征收的销售税在该州维持不变，相比之下，其他地方大把银子却花费在汽油上。
Cutting the credits altogether might also harm Georgia in other ways. A study by Keybridge Public Policy Economics, a consultancy, says the state could lose $252m by 2030 if they disappear and people buy gas-guzzlers instead. That is because drivers will spend $714m on petrol to get around (in contrast with the $261m they would have paid in electricity bills), and will no longer fritter away their savings from the federal electric-vehicle tax credit in Georgia's shops. But the state's incentives may be safe in the legislature after all; the president of the Senate drives an electric car himself.
对信贷费用的削减有可能在其他方面伤害乔治亚州。咨询机构键桥公共政策经济学（Keybridge Public Policy Economics）的一项研究表明，到2030年，如果电动车消失，人们便青睐“油老虎”，那么该州将遭受损失25200万美元。原因是：驾驶者将花费71400万美元去加油站加油（相较之下，他们只需花费26100万美元在电动车上）；同时可以从联邦电动车税收信贷中积攒储蓄。然而，该州的优惠政策在立法过程中终究是安全的，参议院议长自己是骑电动车的。