Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) made the comments during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Manchin decried the inclusion of tax credits to compel EV purchases in Biden’s Build Back Better Act when there are waitlists for models due to supply shortages.
“There’s a waiting list for EVs right now with the fuel price at $4,” Manchin said to Buttigieg. “But they still want us to throw $5,000 or $7,000 or $12,000 credit to buy an electric vehicle.”
“It makes no sense to me whatsoever when supply and demand — we can’t produce the product for the people who want it and we’re still going to pay them to take it? It’s absolutely ludicrous in my mind,” he went on. “But I’m thinking we are getting ourselves tangled in a situation that we’re not going to be able to supply everything that’s going to be needed for this product.”
He also noted that China, which controls the vast majority of mining and refinement operations pertaining to renewable energy tech, could use that fact against the US for geopolitical reasons.
Buttigieg did not address Manchin’s concerns in his response, in which he reiterated the administration’s urgency to get more EVs on the road.