Manchin’s ultimatum could turn the US into a battery powerhouse – TechCrunch

“Build it or else.”

That was the gist of US Senator Joe Manchin’s discussions with representatives of the auto industry over tax breaks for electric cars. Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has grown increasingly concerned about China’s dominance of the lithium-ion battery market and has told auto companies they need to move huge swaths of the global battery supply chain out of China.

If they didn’t, they would have to give up lucrative tax breaks in the Inflation Reduction Act that made their electric cars more affordable for US consumers.

The resulting law still gives consumers access to a $7,500 federal tax credit, but dramatically changes what is required for vehicles to qualify. To be eligible for the full credit, electric vehicle batteries must be manufactured and manufactured from materials sourced and refined in the United States or free trade agreement countries such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Chile.

“You want to get your $7,500 and then build this industry,” Manchin said he told the automakers, according to Bloomberg report. “They thought I was going to give it up. He said that he was thirsty – I will take everything from you,” he added.

“They said, ‘Let’s take it.’ And that’s how we got to where we got to.”

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