Electric Golf Carts and Other Small EVs Skirt Tariffs

The Biden administration’s tariffs on Chinese-made EVs and batteries threaten to raise the prices of ebikes, electric skateboards, e scooters, and other electric vehicles. But some imported EVs have been evading these protections, including electric golf carts.

Posing a problem for US manufacturers, electric golf carts manufactured in China meet a different product classification than most EVs covered by the tariffs, and have therefore avoided higher fees at the border. 

US Companies Call for Tariff Hikes, Allege “Dumping”

The loophole has alarmed US-based companies like Club Car and Textron, makers of E-Z-GO and Cushman golf carts, among hundreds of others, who have filed for 100% tariff protection against their Chinese competitors. 

Imports of Chinese-made golf carts – along with millions of other small EVs classed as “specially designated vehicles” – have increased by six times since 2020. According to the petition from EV trade group, the American Personal Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers Coalition, these imports totaled $916 million last year, compared to $148 million in imports just four years ago. 

The suit follows another that alleges the “dumping” of imported Chinese small EVs. These vehicles are imported in en masse and can be modified once in the US for more power and capacity than allowed by their import duties. Both the anti-dumping suit and the tariff suit should take at least a year to resolve, notes the firm representing the US trade association.

via Bloomberg

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