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This Week’s Electric Vehicle Headlines in Georgia – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The March 27, 2015 issue of The Atlanta Business Chronicle was laden with articles covering the Electric Vehicle business in Georgia. Depending upon where you sat on the issue of EVs in Georgia, you felt good, bad or just ugly.

Good:  Tesla direct sale bill was approved by both houses and sent to Governor Deal for signature.  This lifts the current 150 ‘custom car’ restriction from Tesla (and new owner hassle of exchanging a California Title for a Georgia one) and permits unlimited direct sales through a maximum of 5 Tesla stores in Georgia.  By today’s count (Marietta , Decatur Sales/Service and Lenox Gallery) that permits at least two more sales/service stores if the Gallery is counted in the total of five.  This is great news for current and future Tesla owners, who can now enjoy unimpeded access to the Model S, forthcoming Model X and planned Model III.  Rep. Chuck Martin introduced this bill.

Bad:  All efforts to advance a compromise reduced EV tax credit, with phase out and annual budget caps has failed to find any support in the Georgia Assembly.  Despite hundreds of calls, emails, signed petitions and personal visits to legislators, and manufacturer ride and drive events, Rep Ben Harbin (HB 220) and Rep Don Parsons (HB 200) provided the only support for EV or EVSE tax credits. Sadly, Parsons’ clarification bill for EV charging station tax credit eligability passed the House but could not find a quorem in the Senate on March 26th to vote on it.  On the road use fee, Rep John Albers desparately tried to amend the bill to reduce the fee to $95.00 which failed. As the ABC reported, House Transportation Committee Chair Rep Jay Roberts, basically just made up the $200.00 EV road user fee – doubling the current first time AFV registration fee of $85.00 to $170.00 and rounding up to $200.00.

Georgia’s national rank in math?

Ugly:  While the debate about the elimination of Georgia’s ZEV $5,000 tax credit is not finished, it’s fate, and that of a $200.00/year road user fee are tied to that of the state’s $1.5 Billion Transportation Bill.  Governor Nathan Deal is on record favoring the House version (HB 170). A House-Senate Conference committee must produce a compromise Bill before the planned end of the 2015-16 Legislative session on Thursday April 2, 2015. Governor Deal has already put the Georgia Assembly on notice that he will call them back into session to produce a satisfactory Bill for the Governor to sign.

On a final note, KIA announced that it would introduce the 2015 KIA SOUL EV into Georgia.  This same week, the ABC reported, Governor Deal did accept the keys to a $69,000 2015 KIA sedan, in support of the West Point GA KIA manufacturing plant.  We just wonder why Governor Deal did not get the keys to the KIA SOUL EV?

ABC EV Headlines March 27 2015

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The Economist Takes Note of the EV Tax Credit Fight in Georgia

This week’s issue of The Economist contains a short article on the electric vehicle tax incentives fight in Georgia written by Atlanta correspondent Miranda Johnson. She came across the story by literally falling all over the Nissan LEAFs prowling the streets of metro Atlanta.  Here’s the link to Miranda’s article:

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21646758-georgias-breaks-electric-vehicles-may-be-too-good-last-sparks-fly

Stay tuned for the post script as the Georgia Assembly completes its 2015-2016 legislative session on April 2nd.  Right now, the current $5,000 ZEV tax credit has been approved for elimination by both the House and Senate, while adding a $200/ year/EV road usage fee.

Will Georgia soon be known as the most hostile state to EVs in the US?  Let’s hope not! If you live in Georgia, it’s not too late to contact Governor Nathan Deal and Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (LEAF driver) and voice your opinion. Each of their webpages has a contact form:

Governor Nathan Deal:  https://gov.georgia.gov/webform/contact-governor-domestic-form

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle: http://ltgov.georgia.gov/contact-lt-governor

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Adding 30,000 EVs to Georgia Roads adds $914 Million in economic benefit over next 3 years!

Jeff Cohen, Founder Atlanta EV Development Coalition:

Are Georgia Legislators missing a $900 Million opportunity by maintaining an EV Tax Credit?

Originally posted on Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition:

An independent economic analysis undertaken by the Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition shows that adding 30,000 new EVs (BEV and PHEV) to Georgia roads versus only 12,750 if the $5,000 tax credit is eliminated over the 2016-2018 Fiscal Years the would benefit the Georgia state economy by $914.3 million as follows:

1). $845 million in incremental sales revenues:  Using a constant $47,000 EV selling price  generates $1.5 Billion in sales revenues for 30,000 new EVs vs. only $600 million if just 12,750 new EVs are sold with the elimination of the $5000 ZEV tax credit. Deduct another $75 million for the $2,500 EV tax credit/10,000 per year/3 year tax incentive lifeand the net is $845 million in higher auto dealer sales for EVs with a $2,500 capped EV tax credit.

2).$63 million in incremental Ad Valorem tax collection:  the EV higher sales price and higher EV sales (30,000 vs 12,750)…

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KIA SOUL EV is being contemplated for launch in Georgia.  Will the loss of the ZEV tax credit change KIA's mind?


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Adding 30,000 EVs to Georgia Roads adds $914 Million in economic benefit over next 3 years!

An independent economic analysis undertaken by the Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition shows that adding 30,000 new EVs (BEV and PHEV) to Georgia roads versus only 12,750 if the $5,000 tax credit is eliminated over the 2016-2018 Fiscal Years the would benefit the Georgia state economy by $914.3 million as follows:

1). $845 million in incremental sales revenues:  Using a constant $47,000 EV selling price  generates $1.5 Billion in sales revenues for 30,000 new EVs vs. only $600 million if just 12,750 new EVs are sold with the elimination of the $5000 ZEV tax credit. Deduct another $75 million for the $2,500 EV tax credit/10,000 per year/3 year tax incentive lifeand the net is $845 million in higher auto dealer sales for EVs with a $2,500 capped EV tax credit.

2). $63 million in incremental Ad Valorem tax collection:  the EV higher sales price and higher EV sales (30,000 vs 12,750) yields almost $63 million more in Ad Valorem tax which goes right into the State Coffers.  The per vehicle Ad Valorem alone exceeds the tax credit ($3,650 vs. $2,500) adding $1,160/EV in net Ad Valorem!

3). Road Use Fees would be $6.3 million higher. If the current House version of the Transportation Bill passes and a $200 road use fee is enacted and Georgia’s EV fleet grows to 36,600 vehicles, the state generates $19.7 million. Should the Georgia Senate see a more reasonable approach and step up the Road Use Fee over the next three years to $100/$150/$200, and 30,000 new EVs are added to Georgia’s roads (56,350 total), that generates $26 million or +$6.3 million more.

This study was reviewed March 17th with Georgia State Senator Brandon Beach (District 21), Senate Transportation Committee, Secretary and Chair, Senate Science and Technology Committee. Senator Beach represents Alpharetta GA, the Technology Center of Georgia and is CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

As the Georgia 2015-16 Legislative session counts down to its planned April 2nd conclusion, let’s hope the Senate and House can agree on an EV Tax Credit that makes sense for Georgia!

Tesla HB 393


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HB 393 Passes: Tesla Direct Sale in Georgia – No Other EV Bill Passes House. On to Senate!

During the 2015-16 Georgia Assembly Day 30 “Cross Over Day” the House voted for HB 393 (Chuck Martin R-Alpharetta) 170-3 to permit Tesla to sell its Premium Electric Motor Cars to Georgians without restriction.  Current State Dealer Franchise laws permit up to 150 ‘custom’ made vehicles to be sold directly in Georgia.  Under HB 393 which now goes to the Georgia Senate for vote during the final 10 days of the legislative year, Tesla sales would no longer be capped and up to five stores could be opened in Georgia.  Today there are stores in Marietta and Decatur.

No other EV Tax Credit legislation passed out of the House (see prior posts on HB 122, 176, 200 and 220) with the exception of the inclusion of HB 122 language in the House approved HB 170 Transportation funding bill which includes elimination of the $5,000 ZEV tax credit and imposes a $200/year road use fee for all EV registered in Georgia.  That fee is the equivalent of the gasoline tax paid by a full-size SUV during the course of a year!

The focal point of the Senate will be their version of the Transportation Bill and what impact, if any, their input has on the EV tax credit and road use fees included in the House Bill.  10 days and counting – check back for an update on the EV tax credit.

P.S. – Legislators Ride and Drive event was held on March 11th – two weeks late. Lots of electrified vehicles – including the new KIA SOUL EV to drive – but no Legislators to drive them – too close to Day 30 to come across the street from the Gold Dome to check out what’s making Georgia the #2 state (2.3% of vehicles registered in 2014) in the US.

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EV Tax Credits Update March 1, 2015: HB 122 Back in Consideration! EV Ride & Drive March 4th.

March 1, 2015

While nothing has been officially reported out of the Georgia State Assembly, House Ways and Means Committee, we have learned that HB 122 was revoted on within the Income Tax Sub committee and PASSED.  It joins HB 200 and HB 220 for full House Ways and Means Committee consideration and vote which could come as early as next week. HB 122 language (eliminate $5000 ZEV tax credit) is still in HB 170 (Transportation Committee) which has reached the House floor and remains intact in that legislation, along with the $200/year EV road use fee.

On Wednesday, March 4th, automotive OEMs will host a EV/PHEV ‘ride and drive’ event at Liberty Plaza at the Georgia State Capitol to demonstrate to House and Senate Representatives the technology and value of electric vehicles. BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan and KIA (bringing the first ever SOUL-EV to Georgia) will be on hand with vehicles.

If you want to have your voice heard to retain the EV Tax Credit, please visit www.gavevcredit.com.

Watch for an update following this week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.  News on HB 170 and 393 will be updated as new information becomes available.


February 22, 2015

Another busy week at the Georgia State Assembly.  HB 200 and HB 220 advance to the House Ways and Means Full Committee next week.  HB 170 (Transportation Bill) contains language in the now defeated HB 122 and a new Bill (HB 393- Martin) was introduced into the Motor Vehicle committee to allow direct sale of automobiles in Georgia.  This will permit Tesla to sell its cars directly in Georgia if automotive franchise laws were changed per this Bill.

Here’s a link to the story written by EV Club of the South President Michael Beinenson outlining what happened last week. http://insideevs.com/lawmakers-love-electric-cars-georgia-5-bills-pending/

For more information on HB 220, please visit www.gavevcredit.com


February 17, 2015

Begining at 2:00 PM on Wednesday February 18th, the Georgia State Assembly House of Representatives will take up four Bills which focus on the electric vehicle via the Income Tax sub-committee of the House Ways and Means Committee:

HB 122 – proposes the repeal of the current $5,000 ZEV and $2,500 LEV tax by July 1, 2015. DEFEATED

HB 176 – proposes including all high mileage vehicles including gas hybrids and 47 mpg vehicles in a $2,000 tax credit along with a $10 million budget cap and in perpetuity the tax credit to (currently unavailable) hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. DEFEATED

HB 200 – proposes broadening the definition of the existing electric vehicle charging station tax credit to include retail and commercial buildings at a maximum of $2,500/station along with an annual $750,000 budget cap. PASSED SUB COMMITTEE

HB 220 – proposes the reduction in the ZEV tax credit, inclusion of PHEVs, a $30 million budget cap and a sunset period. PASSED SUB COMMITTEE.

Check back for an update on the outcome of this intense debate!

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Georgia’s Leadership On Electric Vehicles Delivers Huge Benefits To Drivers

The Union of Concerned Scientists released the following statement about the benefits of driving on electricity to the State of Georgia:

ATLANTA (February 11, 2015)— “In 2014 alone, Georgia drivers saved 4.5 million gallons of gasoline thanks to electric vehicles – and that means these drivers have an extra $10 million to put back into the local economy. A new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) shows that driving 100 miles in the average conventional vehicle costs a Georgia driver $13.57 – but in an electric vehicle, driving those same 100 miles cost $3.53 or less. The UCS analysis also shows how important it is for Georgia to continue implementing forward-thinking policies that expand access to electric vehicles in the state.

Georgia is a national leader in electric vehicles, thanks in part to strong state policies that help Georgia drivers take advantage of the many benefits of driving on electricity. Georgia has the second-highest number of electric vehicles on the road in the country, and Atlanta passed Seattle this year to become the second-biggest metro area for electric vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to fuel, are cleaner to operate, and are benefitting Georgia drivers,” says Joshua Goldman, a lead policy analyst for UCS. “Georgia has been a pioneer in putting electric cars on the road.”

While gas prices rise and fall, electricity rates in Georgia have been relatively stable for years. Electric vehicles protect drivers from future changes in gas prices.

“I’m really encouraged by the progress we’ve made on electric vehicles,” said Anne Blair, the Clean Fuels Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “I hope leaders here in Georgia recognize how important electric vehicles are, and what a standout Georgia is on adopting them.”

Georgia has thousands of electric vehicles on the road, but there’s still room for growth. Policies that encourage consumers to choose electric vehicles will continue to pay dividends for Georgians.”

Click here to get the facts on the benefits of driving on electricity in Georgia: UCS Study EVs and Georgia

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