Manchin blasts leeway in Biden’s EV tax credit rule: ‘Outrageous and illegal’

Centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) is blasting the Biden administration’s new interpretation of which vehicles can qualify for electric vehicle tax credits — saying it gives too much leeway for batteries containing Chinese materials.

“The Administration has made clear from Day 1 of implementing the consumer electric vehicle tax credit in the Inflation Reduction Act that they will break the law in pursuit of their goal to flood the market with electric vehicles as quickly as possible,” Manchin said in a written statement.

The rule issued Friday by the Biden administration loosens provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that bar credit eligibility for vehicles whose batteries contain materials from China, North Korea, Russia or Iran.

The rule includes a two-year carve-out for minerals whose origins are difficult to trace and show up in small amounts. It also goes further than a proposed rule, extending the carve-out to graphite, which can compose a significant portion of an EV battery and often comes from China.

In his statement, Manchin argued that through the rule, “Treasury has provided a long-term pathway” for Iran, Russia, North Korea and China “to remain in our supply chains.”

“It’s outrageous and illegal,” he added.

Proponents of the measure argue that the rule’s flexibility is important to give electric vehicle producers enough time to shore up their supply chains.

Manchin, who was a key swing vote on the Inflation Reduction Act law that expanded the tax credits in the first place, has frequently taken issue with how the Biden administration has implemented the measure, including its handling of credits for EV chargers and hydrogen energy.

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