Gallery: Ford Spent $1.65 Million in First Quarter 2011 Lobbying for El...


It’s old news that automobile companies spend a lot of time and money in Washington DC trying to get what they want, but these days they’ve got their eyes on a new prize – electric vehicle (EV) tax breaks. It was just reported that Ford Motor Company spent $1.65 million in the first quarter of 2011 lobbying for EV tax breaks — an increase of 20% over the last quarter. With new EVs coming out left and right, and Ford set to launch their Focus Electric, a lobby for tax breaks for low emissions vehicles is in their interest as well as in the interest of the future of the planet.

The Washington lobbyists trumpeting the cause of the automobile companies have notoriously been tightly entangled with other lobbyists fighting for the oil industry’s rights. Traditionally the two industrys’ interests have been the same but with the rise in gas prices and the reduction in the cost of low-emissions vehicle technology the oil-auto relationship could be breaking apart — and Ford’s lobbying report is one of the first real signs of a fissure. Ford lobbyists reportedly spent a lot of time going after an increase in the number of EVs eligible for a federal tax credit from 200,000 to 500,000 and incentives for battery manufacturers.

Though they run under the radar of the news media most of the time, lobbyists are extremely influential in Washington — and are required to report on what types of lobbying they’ve done. Spending their days going from lawmaker to lawmaker, they are paid to get votes on the side of the companies that pay their salaries. Seeing Ford put its hefty shoulder behind the EV cause — a great financial move with their first EV coming out this year– means that more companies are likely to follow suit, if they haven’t already.

Via Business Week

Photos by Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz


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  1. lazyreader June 30, 2011 at 8:00 am

    You should change yours to anotherwallet. Government is never charitable, never benevolent and never generous. Because what’s involved in government giving is government taking. And your subsidizing to the point of which it costs more to create a job than the annual wages the employee makes. Nissan is building it’s future “Leaf” in a plant in Tennessee, theirs American jobs and still there will be subsidies thanks to a 1.4 billion dollar loan guaranteed be the Department of Energy thanks to intensive intensive political lobbying, and corporate welfare. Why would I buy a 43,000 dollar Volt when I can get a 37,000 dollar Leaf or a 15,000 dollar normal car and with money left over buy enough gas to last me for years and years. And what if batteries are not the solution. Why did government waste our money paying for it. That’s how thousands of wealthy Americans including John Stossel got a free golf cart courtesy of the taxpayers.

    What if a new battery or capacitor or new fuel or alternative energy device was invented. A Tesla roadster seems like a good idea but it costs 12 grand to properly dispose of the battery. How much will it cost to get rid of these batteries after it’s 10 year warranty????

  2. Zeppflyer June 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm


    There are plenty of reasons not to support tax breaks for EV’s. Government money is a finite resource. Do we increase taxes or borrowing, or cut other programs to pay for the tax cuts? Would other, targeted tax cuts generate more jobs or do more good for the environment? (Perhaps more investment in commuter or high speed rail?) How do we pay for roads if EV’s are eating into the gas taxes that fund them?

    I’m not saying that the arguments for EV tax credits are not compelling or that there are not good policy, just that they are not a slam dunk. Many people, some who believe that the money can be genuinely better spent elsewhere and others (oil companies come to mind….) who are just plain greedy will also be lobbying for those funds. If Ford wants this tax credit they do have to fight for it.

  3. anothervoice June 29, 2011 at 11:30 am


    Why wouldn’t the government make it easier for folks to transition to the new green sustainable economy? More jobs at the battery plants, more jobs at the car factory, a rebate for buying American and less pollution from our transportation requirements? Seems like win/win/win/win to me.

    Maybe change your moniker to lazythinker?

  4. lazyreader June 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Ford was the only 1 of the Big 3 that never took bailout money, now they want it behind the table. If electric cars are profitable or easy to make, why do they need tax breaks. They’re just greasing palms and paying cronies to pay other cronies in government. Certainly they could have spent 1.65 million on research and development not bribes.

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