Congress considers extending electric vehicle tax credits, approval of self-driving cars

With Congress returning to Washington on Tuesday for a flurry of legislative activity before the end of the year, transportation advocates are hoping to win support for pair of measures that would allow carmakers to sell thousands of self-driving cars and extend tax credits for electric vehicles.

Supporters of a U.S. Senate bill championed by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, that would allow automakers to sell more than 80,000 self-driving cars each per year are hoping to finally pass the measure in the upcoming so-called lame duck session after a year-long wait. They note that the current Republican-led House passed a similar measure with relative ease in 2017.

Additionally, General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Inc. have joined forces with environmental groups to form a new coalition that is pushing to remove a cap on a federal tax credit that provides up to $7,500 to buyers of electric cars. GM, Nissan and Tesla, makers of the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla’s electric-fleet, are among the biggest electric car producers in the U.S. Current rules allow automakers to offer credits for up to 200,000 electric vehicles per manufacturer.