News Story

Electric Vehicle Subsidy Would Provide Relief For The Rich

Bills aim to let Michigan taxpayers help wealthy drivers get into expensive electric cars

A bill in the Michigan Legislature would give $2,000 in taxpayer funds to each person who pays up to $80,000 for an electric car. Democratic Sen. Sean McCann of Kalamazoo introduced Senate Bill 1017 on April 21 to establish the subsidy. Democratic Sen. Dayna Polehanki of Livonia introduced a companion proposal, Senate Bill 1016 on the same day, to authorize $500 payments to individuals who install at an at-home charging station for electric cars.

“As Michigan goes all-in to support our automotive industry’s shift to electric vehicles and their components, we must also ensure that all our residents can partake in this monumental shift,” McCann said in a press release.

Recent surveys indicate that people who buy electric vehicles tend to be far more affluent than those who do not.

The Pittsburgh data consultancy BlastPoint surveyed consumers who owned an electric vehicle and were open to buying another. Their median household income of those consumers is $95,000, it reported in an email. And 25% of those likely electric vehicle consumers have a median household income of $150,000 or more. The median household income in the U.S. in 2020 was $67,521, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median household income in Michigan was $59,234 for the years 2016-2020.

That means many of Michigan’s less affluent residents would be subsidizing the private purchases of more affluent residents.

The best-selling electric vehicle in 2021 was the Tesla Model Y, according to Car and Driver magazine. The model starts at $64,990 and can cost more than $80,000 when fully equipped, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.