Bloomberg reports on the new Tesla Model 3, which it notes "has a starting price of $35,000." It notes further that "The U.S. government provides a tax rebate of $7,500 for electric cars. Some states offer additional incentives. In California and New York, for example, a base Model 3 might cost as little as $25,000."
I can see arguments on both sides of that one. If the goal is decreasing fossil fuel emissions and therefore curbing climate change, maybe it'd be more effective to raise the gas tax, and let people figure out for themselves whether they want to respond by driving less (and walking, biking, or taking buses or subways more), buying an electric car, or buying a car that is non-electric but is nonetheless smaller or more fuel efficient. But a gas tax increase looks like a tax increase, while the electric car subsidy looks like the government is giving something — "the U.S. government provides," as Bloomberg puts it — rather than taking it away. The lost sales of non-electric cars and trucks, and the taxes collected, or funds borrowed, to fund the subsidies, are less directly visible than a gas tax increase would be.
One challenge for Tesla is whether it can build cars so good that individual customers would be willing to buy them even without being paid $7,500 by the government.
It's one thing to subsidize electric cars; it's another thing to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles. A New York Times editorial recently reported that such a move is under way:
The drive to switch to electric cars went a mile further last Wednesday when Britain joined France in pledging to end the sale of new gas and diesel cars by 2040. Norway and India have also said they want to get rid of gas and diesel cars...Bringing people around is a big challenge in the fight against climate change. That's one reason the announcements by Britain, France, India and Norway are important, and the more governments that follow suit, the better.
If the Times feels so strongly about this, nothing is stopping the Times Company from immediately converting its entire fleet of newspaper delivery trucks to electric power or from requiring its home delivery contractors to use electric powered vehicles. It won't, though, because that would be more expensive, and the newspaper already is struggling financially (or at least intermittently claims it is when it is plumping for an antitrust exemption or explaining reductions in news coverage and staffing.) Again, it's a challenge for the electric car industry: come up with a product so good that customers would buy them of their own free will, without having to be forced to do so by the government banning the sale of competing products.