- In a move that appears diametrically opposed to the Trump administration's automotive and environmental policies, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) proposes a massive incentive program to get Americans into electric cars.
- Schumer's proposal would cost $454 billion and would pay U.S. car buyers thousands of dollars to swap their gasoline-powered vehicles for electric, hybrid, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
- One catch: the alternative-powered vehicles would have to be made in the U.S.A.
Thinking of getting an electric or hybrid car but not ready to swallow the price premium that it would probably entail? Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, has an idea. In a modern version of the old Cash for Clunkers plan, Schumer proposes spending $454 billion over the coming decade to incentivize Americans to trade out of internal-combustion-engined cars and into EVs and hybrids.
The plan, announced by Schumer late Thursday in an op-ed piece called "A Bold Plan for Clean Cars" in the New York Times, suggests that it could help make "all vehicles on the road . . . clean" by 2040. Since the plan would require that the EV or hybrid vehicles be made in the United States, he claims it would also "spur a transformation in American manufacturing."
Schumer said the discounts would help there be "63 million fewer" gas-powered vehicles on American roads by 2030.
The plan would also provide grants around the country to help cities and states set up charging stations, particularly in underserved areas such as rural and low-income communities.
The $454 billion cost would be spread over 10 years. While acknowledging it's a lot of money, Schumer claims that "tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs" could come as a result of incentivizing people to buy U.S.-made vehicles.
Schumer said he intends to introduce this plan as an element of "bold and far-reaching" climate legislation in November 2020, based on an assumption it's too early to make: that Democrats control the Senate by then and he becomes majority leader.
This is a developing story, and we will update as more information becomes available.