U.S. Republican President Donald Trump has reportedly proposed a budget that would eliminate a loan program deemed wasteful.
Some of the money from that program has gone to the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn. according to The Detroit News.
Specifically, Trump’s budget would eliminate what is known as the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. This, the paper went on to say, is a Department of Energy program Trump deems “costly, wasteful or duplicative.”
“Nissan used a $1.45 billion loan in September 2010 to build plants for advanced battery manufacturing and environmentally friendly paint and to retool its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant for assembly of the all-electric Leaf,” according to The Detroit News.
“Tesla used a $465 million loan in January 2010 to develop its manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, to produce battery packs, electric motors and other powertrain components for powering all-electric vehicles.”
The paper quoted Trump as saying “the private sector is better positioned to provide financing for the deployment of commercially viable projects.”
Ford has also used the program to upgrade facilities in six states, including Kentucky and Missouri, the paper said.
Trump also wants to do away with a federal tax credit that provides up to $7,500 to buyers of electric cars, according to The Detroit News.
That cut would reportedly save taxpayers $2.5 billion over a decade.
As The Tennessee Star has reported, some research shows manufacturers of electric cars wouldn’t make a tidy profit in a pure free market system because, at least right now, there isn’t enough demand for that product.
So that’s why government gets involved.
Tennessee officials have done a lot this decade to help subsidize and promote electric cars, and they’ve reportedly done so again. As The Tennessee Star reported, state officials have given Volkswagen some type of concessions to compel the company to build electric cars in Chattanooga.
As The Tennessee Star reported last fall, former Tennessee Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen said in 2010 that during the coming decade we’d see a surge of electric vehicles on the state’s roads and highways.
So certain of it, he handed out $2.5 million in government money to encourage people to buy EVs — the Nissan Leaf only, manufactured in Smyrna.
Now that the decade is nearly out, evidence indicates Bredesen was no visionary.
As reported in 2015, Tennessee had 2,568 registered EVs on the road.
In three years, that number has increased, slightly, to 3,735 EVs. Davidson County, meanwhile, currently has 746 registered EVs, according to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Also, as The Star reported last fall, taxpayers have paid millions of dollars to help electric vehicle manufacturers not only get their products out on the road but also furnish electric car charging stations all over Nashville.
Prior reporting shows few people around Nashville appear to use these charging stations.
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