Fight between Biden, EU, and US Unions Over Electric Car Battery Manufacturing

I have written before about how unions are successfully organizing electric vehicle battery manufacturers. And how they plan to organize workers at battery factories across the south very soon.

Part of the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” (IRA) did away with the “cap” on the number of electric vehicles that qualified for the full $7,500 tax credit.

Initially, this was good because more cars could get the tax credit.

But the devil is in the details, and there was a lot of detail in the IRA.

* The IRA eliminated incentives for EVs over $80,000.
* Maximum adjusted gross income for credit is $150k for single filers, $225k for head of household, and $200k for joint filers.
* The cars and batteries must be built in North America.

The third bullet is worth repeating: the cars and batteries must be built in North America.

So, basically, you only get a tax credit if your electric car costs less than $80,000, you earn a certain level of income, and everything is made in the U.S.

This upset the European Union because it has companies that make EV batteries. The EU has lobbied the Biden administration to eliminate this prong.

Unions have been lobbying the Administration to keep this prong.

I don’t plan on ever buying an electric vehicle. So, the tax credit prongs are irrelevant to me.

But I’m on the side of the unions on this one. I’m all for bringing and keeping manufacturing in the United States.


Matt Austin is a nationwide management labor lawyer. Labor laws govern virtually all private-sector employees regardless of union membership. Proactive management of labor relations is critical to maintaining flexibility and increasing profit.

Matt also runs Austin Legal’s HR Legal Compliance Program that, for a small monthly fee, ensures HR decisions are protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Matt’s experience is deeply rooted in helping manage many aspects of his clients’ businesses. To effectively manage labor relations, he must also manage budgets, forecasts, new growth areas, and projected market corrections. High emotional intelligence is also critical to negotiating union contracts and to properly advise HR Legal Compliance members through the nuances of the law, its application to their companies, and how it will be received by employees.

You can reach Matt via email at