Arizona's lower- and middle-class populations are subsidizing wealthier residents who take advantage of a state tax credit to purchase electric vehicles, according to new research.
The Ohio-based Buckeye Institute partnered with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club to conduct the research on electric car subsidies and their impact on Arizona taxpayers of varying incomes.
The result of their study was published in the report It Ain’t Easy Being Green: The Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Electric Vehicles In Arizona.
Among the findings, according to a post from The Buckeye Institute:
• More than 83 percent of electric car subsidies went to families earning more than $100,000 while less than one percent were used by households making less than $50,000.
• Electric car owners pay on average $500 less each year than non-electric car drivers for road maintenance.
• There is a charging station for every 12 electric cars in Arizona compared to 249 gas-powered cars per gas pump.
"After a comprehensive analysis, our research clearly shows that Arizonans are being overtaxed to subsidize wealthy owners of electric cars, which disproportionately hurts those who can't afford to purchase a new electric car," said Andrew J. Kidd, an economist at the economic research center within the Buckeye Institute. "Furthermore, if a new proposal by the Arizona Corporation Commission is adopted, Arizonans will pay more on their electric bills to subsidize the building of more electric charging stations."
In the research paper's conclusion, the authors recommend a more hands-off approach by government.
"Arizona, like all governments, should proceed with caution in this burgeoning area and allow the market for new vehicle technologies to grow organically with little interference from politicians and bureaucrats," the report concludes. "Future EV policies and programs would be well-served by thorough cost-benefit analyses that take a fuller view of the actual social costs and benefits associated with purportedly “green” vehicles."