House bill throws cold water on warming electric vehicle market

A bill passed out of committee Wednesday would put the brakes on Michigan’s burgeoning electric vehicle market.

The Michigan House Government Operations Committee passed House Bill 6233, sponsored by Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville), in a 3-1-1 vote. The bill would prohibit vehicle manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers. These manufacturers would also be unable to service their vehicles in Michigan and conduct test rides.

The bill would severely stymie electric vehicle manufacturers, said Charlotte Jameson, program director for legislative affairs, energy, and drinking water at Michigan Environmental Council

These companies do not move the volume of cars needed to support franchise work, she said. Dealerships are not cost-effective either because electric vehicles require less maintenance than a standard internal combustion engine. Sheppard’s bill essentially requires electric vehicle companies like Rivian, Lordstown Motors and Lucid Motors to have dealerships and franchising. 

“Michigan continues to claim the mantle of being at the forefront of the auto industry, but full-electric vehicles are the future,” Jameson said. “It's telling that instead of bills that break down regulatory barriers to electric vehicle adoption, the Michigan House chose to hinder the sale of electric vehicles and disincentivize manufacturers from locating in Michigan,” Jameson said. “We have much more work to do to create a welcoming policy environment for the manufacture and sale of electric vehicles, but legislators can start by not supporting a bill that would throw cold water on the market.” 

Reps. Sheppard, Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) and Jim Lilly (R-Park Township) voted “yea” on House Bill 6233. Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) passed and Rep. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) voted “no.”


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