Opinion: Honda exec: Democrats play favorites with their new EV proposal
Environmental and industry experts agree that customer incentives are key to achieving widespread acceptance of electric vehicles on a scale needed to meet the proposed new regulations. But limiting the entire tax incentive to electric vehicles made only by the three incumbent Detroit automakers would be to neglect other national and international automakers whose American workers – who are not unionized – make millions of vehicles by year here in the United States.
This proposal is bad business for non-union automakers, their American workers, and for the customers who are needed to drive this transition to electrification. The measure would hamper sales of electric vehicles for non-union manufacturers, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. And that could mean lower production volume and fewer jobs for workers; while the higher cost to consumers of vehicles that do not qualify for the additional credit would actually defeat the mission of promoting sales of electric vehicles.
It would be a disastrous detour on our generational journey towards environmental sustainability. The climate crisis needs a holistic approach, not federal policies playing favorites among the many brands that will make electric vehicles in America to appease union interests. We need to stay focused on what unites us: the common goal of deploying zero-emission vehicles to achieve carbon neutrality.
I stand with our 20,000 Honda associates for their right to earn a living and to choose whether or not to join a union. I cannot remain silent as our government debates a plan that says the products they make do not deserve equal support for much needed climate progress.
History has shown that federal policies that pick winners and losers tend to be losers themselves. Especially when a big national goal is at stake, companies need a level playing field to innovate, produce, compete and collaborate without the federal government stimulating some players while blocking others. Promoting unionization is a different agenda from promoting electric vehicles, and climate champions on the Hill should reject tying the two as Congress continues to negotiate a reconciliation deal.
Washington policymakers should unite the efforts of all automakers to tackle the climate crisis.