Electric Car Advocates Concerned About Life Without Tax Credit

Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County recently received a grant to build its own electric charging station.

It’s another example of the state’s growing number of electric cars. But some remain anxious about their future in Georgia.

Diana Wheeler helped secure the grant for Peachtree Corners. She’s eager to meet the demand.    

“There’s been a lot of interest. In fact even one of our council members has an electric vehicle.”

Wheeler says she didn’t want her city left out.

“There’s already a network out there throughout the whole county of charging stations and we hope to expand that network. We want to be part of the grid. “

Atlanta is second in the entire U.S. for electric car ownership – only behind San Francisco. Much of that is the result of one of the most generous state tax credits in the country – up to $5,000 back on electric cars.

“If we lost the tax credit the rapid sales we’re seeing now would slow way down,” said Chris Campbell, who runs the website ElectrifyAtlanta.com.

State lawmakers – citing millions in lost revenue – nearly eliminated the tax credit earlier this year, but the bill died in the last hours of legislative session.

Michael Beinenson, a board member of the EV Club of the South, says the tax credit is critical for Georgia’s car buyers. He says they’re more interested in saving money, than other factors like saving the environment.

“I’m sure this tax credit will be changed if not eliminated at the next session. We’re hoping that it’s just changed.”

It’s why Beinenson and other advocates are already preparing for the 2015 legislative session.