WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Visiting metro Grand Rapids Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen renewed her call for a pause in the state sales tax for new electric vehicles.

She first included the idea of a pause in her budget proposal, which was delivered in February. The proposed pause, which would be temporary, would cap the state sales tax for an EV at $2,400.

Joined by U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten, D-Grand Rapids, and others at LaFontaine Ford on Alpine Avenue in Walker, Whitmer said EVs were the future of the automotive industry and that Michigan will play a prominent role in that future. She emphasized the importance of supporting changes in the supply chain, battery manufacturing and other areas to make the state is a major player in the transition to EVs. She argued that EVs will in time be more cost-effective than the traditional internal combustion engine.

“…A lot of customers are really interested,” Whitmer said Lafontaine owner Ryan LaFontaine told her. “They’ve got some anxiety around the initial price point or around (trip) range and that’s why I think it’s our job to level some of those barriers where we can. We know that a lot of our great auto dealers and manufacturers here are focusing on dropping the price point and making it more available to different consumers but at this point we know that continues to be a barrier.”

She said incentives may help people make the leap.

“We believe that with this kind of incentive we could double the number of electric vehicles on the road in the next couple of years,” she said.

Her office said that now, there are nearly 30,000 EVs registered in Michigan. Federal data says a total of 8 million vehicles are on the roads in Michigan.

Federal incentives for buying an EV run as high as $7,500.