The report was spurred by concern about a 90 percent drop in EVs sales in Georgia since the repeal of the state’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) tax credit and the addition of a new $200 ‘user’ fee to EV drivers’ registration in 2015. At the time that credit was repealed and new fee implemented, Georgia was the number one state for sales of the Nissan LEAF and had the second-highest number of EVs registered nationally. Georgia currently has more than 21,000 EVs registered in the state.
This study analysis assesses the economic impacts that two policy proposals could have on the growth of Georgia’s electric vehicle market. The report concludes that a new $2,500 tax credit (applied over five years and eligible to both battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), combined with a lower EV user fee, will result in significant net economic gains to Georgia. Combined, these two policies will produce net improvements of 951 full-time equivalent jobs, $100 million in gains to GDP, and $54 million in increased income.
The proposed tax credit is the critical factor for the resulting benefits and gains for Georgia. The tax credit also leverages Georgia’s public dollar – for every dollar spent as part of a tax credit for EVs, $2.25-$7.59 in private dollars are spurred into action.
“More EVs on the road in Georgia will drive new jobs and income to the state, as the report shows. Across the country, many states have already implemented supportive policies for EVs, like tax credits, that are proven to drive the growth of new markets,” said Katherine Stainken, policy director, Plug In America. “Drivers that go electric shouldn’t be punished with hefty user fees either.”
In addition to the economic benefits, electric vehicles improve air quality and reduce healthcare costs, reduce the state’s oil imports and help drive the transition to a smarter, cleaner energy future for Georgia. The vehicles also benefit local economies, both rural and urban areas, as they are fueled by electricity from the local electrical grid, which is cheaper for all consumers; money not spent on gas or maintenance is invested back into the local economy.
“This analysis demonstrates the value that electric vehicles and incentives for EVs can bring to Georgia – including new jobs and increased GDP. It’s time for Georgia to renew its commitment to technology innovation and adopt new EV-friendly policies for the state,” said Anne Blair, clean fuels director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and president of EV Club of the South. “The benefits are too good to pass up.”
The analysis was conducted by The Greenlink Group on behalf of Plug-In America, EV Club of the South, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, City of Atlanta, Clean Cities-Georgia, and Sierra Club.
“We are pleased with the results of the latest report showing that EVs provide such a strong economic benefit to our state,” said Brionte McCorkle, assistant director, Sierra Club-Georgia Chapter. “With federal initiatives and cities like Atlanta leading the way to make EVs more convenient, we believe it is important for the state to play a strong role in reducing greenhouse gas pollution from our transportation sector, and improve the health of our children, families, and environment.
“Electric Vehicles provide multiple benefits to the state—new jobs, increased GDP and cleaner air. As part of our commitment to reduce emissions, the City of Atlanta is leading the state in the adoption of EVs in our fleet,” said Stephanie Stuckey, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Atlanta.