According to experts in the US the changes mean the number of models – currently around 40 – eligible for the tax credit will be reduced drastically.

“The intent of the inflation reduction act was to make EVs more accessible to the middle class, that’s why it has price limits and income criteria which adds to the confusion,” Michelle Krebs, of automotive firm Cox Automotive, said.

“The number one obstacle is the price. There is also the concern about the EV supply chain.

“Consumers will need help to see if they qualify and their car qualifies.”

Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds Automotive, was also critical.

“The goal here is to increase EV sales in the US. It’s obviously not that straightforward,” she said.

“It’s becoming more complicated by the day and it’s making it more difficult for consumers to wade through this.

“There is confusion over where batteries are made. Right now, it’s as clear as mud.”

Cody Lusk, president and chief executive of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, said the new rules have “created confusion” and is hoping that updates expected as early as today will clarify the situation. 

The reluctance to invest in an electric car has been intensified by supply chain problems dating back to Covid.

Cars generally are in short supply as are parts, which has had an impact on the market.

“There is also a pandemic car buying hangover,” Chris Galdieri, professor of politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, said.

“It was a case of hoping a car was available. Everybody has a friend with a car horror story because they couldn’t find anything.

“Cars have been kind of a mess the last few years,” she added.

According to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade body, electric cars accounted for 7pc of new car sales last year.

It fears that the US still lacks the infrastructure to cope with a rise in demand.

Given the vast distances Americans can drive, charging points are essential if motorists are not going to be stranded.

According to the latest figures there are just over 100,000 charging points for the three million electric vehicles on the road.

An analysis of 3,100 counties and city counties in the US found that 39pc had no charging points at all and 63pc had fewer than five. 

More than half failed to even install one last year.

Lessons for Britain

Britain faces similar challenges but is pursuing a more efficient use of public funds. 

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, has accused President Biden of leading a “distortive” global subsidy race with his $400bn green investment package. 

Writing in The Times, he said he would not go “toe-to-toe” with the US and EU by paying out billions in subsidies for electric vehicles and other green investments.

Instead, he announced on Wednesday that EV owners will benefit from cheaper electricity rates as part of the Government’s move to rebalance gas and electricity prices.

To ensure there are enough charging points to keep drivers from getting stranded, the Government has committed to expanding the network. 

EV drivers in Britain are already struggling to take long journeys in their cars because of a lack of charging points

Charging points will have to allow drivers to pay without specific smartphone apps and subscriptions. 

The cost of buying a new electric vehicle will not be reduced by a subsidy scheme, although the Government is sticking to its plan to phase out sales of petrol cars by 2030

Labour has pledged to match the US subsidy, but experts warned that this would be damaging to Britain’s economy. 

Dillon Smith, an expert in energy policy at the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, said Jeremy Hunt was right to stick to targeted taxpayer support “at a time when the UK tax burden is already eye-wateringly high”. 

Sam Robinson, a senior research fellow at Bright Blue, another think tank, said Britain’s economy could be damaged by a lavish US-style spending plan. 

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