Georgia Legislature Pulls Plug On Electric Cars
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Politics and Activism

Georgia Legislature Pulls Plug On Electric Cars

6
Georgia Legislature Pulls Plug On Electric Cars

At the beginning of this century, interest in electric vehicles increased due to concerns that hydrocarbon fueled vehicles were damaging the environment. Just as fast as interest in these more environmentally friendly cars has peaked, positive incentives to purchase one in the state of Georgia have been ripped away by the state legislature.

Earlier this month, the state legislature pulled the plug on a generous tax credit for electric vehicle owners. This tax credit encouraged state residents to purchase electric cars with leases as low as one hundred dollars a month. This tax credit was created to help the people and in turn, help the environment. It made it more affordable to own or lease an electric car by not having to pay taxes and gas, but nay-sayers with their own agendas think that the tax break boiled down to giving out cars for free. Now, the tax credit is not only being taken away, but a $200-a-year fee will be assessed to electric vehicle owners to make up for the loss of gasoline taxes that person would otherwise pay.

This money is not vanishing into thin air. The legislature is making this change to help mend and maintain our state's roads. While the upkeep of our roads is vital and badly needed, practically abolishing the electric car market is not the way to go about the situation. With no tax credit and an extra fee every year, the people who are now leasing electric vehicles because they are affordable, won't be able to afford them after July. These customers will go back to hydrocarbon fueled vehicles because of affordability, and the state's electric vehicle sales will drop at a fast rate. To add fuel to the fire, the State of Georgia imports most of its gasoline from other states, so the residents who own gas guzzlers and pay taxes on their fuel will not be benefitting Georgia any more than before. They could as easily save their money with the tax credit, and then they would spend their money in the state where it would then reap the monetary benefits.

Putting aside the money aspect of this decision, in the long term, the person who gets hurt the most is not a person at all, it is the environment. Thousands of greenhouse gas emissions are kept out of the atmosphere each year because of Georgia's electric vehicles alone, and this number will certainly drop alongside the vehicle's sales numbers come July. If we continue to destroy the environment we live in with the hydrocarbon fueled vehicles we have been driving for the past 100 years, there will not be a need for clean, well-maintained roads because we will not be here. We only have one Earth, and so far, we have found no other planet or solar system that can support us. In the short term future, this may seem like an easy fix. The state moves money around, destroys our electric vehicle market, and saves the roads. In the long term, it does not create a better future for the state's residents. The future will only exist if we preserve and mend our environment, not roads. That future can exist if we all support electric vehicles, the vehicles that need to hold the majority, not the minority.

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