The electric vehicle (EV) that Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm used for her troubled road trip last summer does not currently qualify for a key subsidy pushed by the Biden administration because it has too many Chinese components, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Granholm drove the Cadillac Lyriq for her trip across the Southeast in an effort to promote EVs and President Joe Biden’s green jobs agenda, but the car no longer qualifies for the Clean Vehicle Tax Credit, a subsidy worth up to $7,500 that the Biden administration is depending on to incentivize more Americans to buy EVs, according to the Treasury Department. The car lost its eligibility for the subsidy on Jan. 1, when the administration phased in new sourcing requirements for EVs to box out battery components made by Chinese companies and decrease the possibility of Chinese firms capturing the value of American subsidies, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The car was tax-credit eligible when Granholm used it for her promotional tour before falling afoul of the new standards that took effect with the start of the new year. The Lyriq lost eligibility for the subsidy “because of two minor components,” and General Motors (GM) estimates that the EV “will be eligible for the full incentive in early 2024,” a spokeswoman for the company told The Washington Free Beacon.

GM is apparently working to provide its own $7,500 incentive to offset the value lost from the government subsidy, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The Lyriq can cost more than $60,000.

The Lyriq Granholm drove for the trip had a hardware issue that complicated charging, while some charging stations were broken or inconveniently slow and a Georgia family called the police on a Granholm staffer who had gone ahead of the convoy to reserve a spot at a charging station during her four-day trip through the Southeast, according to NPR.

In September, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee launched a probe into the road trip, seeking details about the vehicles involved in the trip, itineraries, internal and external communications and any potential information about the cost of the trip to taxpayers.

Granholm’s family, meanwhile, drives a Mustang Mach-E EV, a model which is assembled in a Ford plant in Mexico that employs about 1,000 workers, according to NPR and Ford. The model has an average list price of about $47,000, according to Ford.

The Energy Department did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Nick Pope on January 6, 2024

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