A new bipartisan bill seeks to give Ohio residents up to $500 off the purchase of a new electric vehicle in order to help support Lordstown Motors and the new General Motors/LG Chem Lordstown battery cell plant.
The bill, which has not yet been formally introduced, was drafted by Sen. Michael Rulli (R – Salem) and Sen. Sean O’Brien (D – Bazetta). If passed, it would entitle Ohioans to receive $500 off the purchase of a new EV, along with $1,000 off a commercial electric vehicle and $1,500 off an EV charging station.
Rulli and O’Brien believe the bill will help to promote EV sales, in turn supporting manufacturing efforts in the state. Lordstown Motor Company recently purchased Lordstown Assembly from GM and plans to build a battery electric pickup truck at the plant called the Endurance. Additionally, GM has partnered with LG Chem to build a new battery cell production plant in the Mahoning Valley area, which will supply battery cells for a variety of future electric vehicles from the American automaker.
“Both sides recognize that these vehicles are now going to be made here,” O’Brien told Ohio ABC affiliate ABC6. “The parts are going to be made here. The investment is here in Ohio.”
The $1,000 incentive for commercial electric vehicles could be particularly beneficial for Lordstown Motors. The Endurance pickup differs from offerings like the Rivian R1T or the upcoming GM electric pickup in that it won’t be marketed toward the public. Instead, Lordstown Motors hopes to sell the truck to commercial businesses for fleet purposes. Prices for the Endurance will start at roughly $52,500 and sales are expected to begin in late 2020.
The bill could also prove to be a minor benefit for GM. While its unclear if the automaker is working on electric commercial vehicles, the $500 incentive could help push buyers into consumer-oriented EVs like the Bolt EV or the upcoming new Bolt EUV.
GM recently lost its fight to reform the national EV tax incentive, which would have increased the amount of EVs a manufacturer can sell before the incentives dry up. Tax incentives on GM vehicles have already been reduced from $7,500 to $1,875 after it reached the 200,000 vehicle threshold earlier this year and are set to dry up completely in March of 2020.