Biden Bets Big on Electric Vehicles

Back in January this year, U.S. President Joe Biden announced – as part of his ‘Buy American’ executive order – that the Federal Government would aim to replace its fleet of 650,000 vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs). That is a very big deal indeed.

This month, President Biden went even further, setting an ambitious goal for half of all U.S. vehicle sales to be electric – as in zero-emissions vehicles, including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles – by 2030.

In a statement, the Biden administration said: ‘The global market is shifting to electric vehicles and tapping their potential to save families money, lower pollution, and make the air we breathe cleaner. Despite pioneering the technology, the U.S. is behind in the race to manufacture these vehicles and the batteries that go in them. Today, the U.S. market share of electric vehicle sales is only one-third that of the Chinese electric vehicle market.

The President believes it is time for the U.S. to lead in electric vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure, and innovation, by investing in:

  • Installing the first-ever national network of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Delivering point-of-sale consumer incentives to spur U.S. manufacturing and union jobs.
  • Financing the retooling and expansion of the full domestic manufacturing supply chain.
  • Innovating the next generation of clean technologies to maintain our competitive edge.

“We are in competition with China and many other nations for the 21st century. To win, we are going to have to make sure the future will be ‘made in America’, said Biden at a press conference announcing the move. “The future of the automotive industry is electric. Battery electric, Plug-In Hybrid electric, Fuel cell electric – there is no turning back.”

The plan, not surprisingly, has plenty of support from the automotive industry, and carmakers and the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) were on hand at the White House for the announcement.

In a joint statement, Ford, GM, and Stellantis said that they had a “ . . . shared aspiration to achieve sales of 40-50 per cent of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles (battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles) by 2030 in order to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future consistent with Paris climate goals.

“Our recent product, technology, and investment announcements highlight our collective commitment to be leaders in the U.S. transition to electric vehicles. This represents a dramatic shift from the U.S. market today that can be achieved only with the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies committed to by the Administration in the Build Back Better Plan, including purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.

“With the UAW at our side in transforming the workforce and partnering with us on this journey, we believe we can strengthen continued American leadership in clean transportation technology through electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments to enact policies that will enable these ambitious objectives.”

In addition to the move on electric vehicles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are to advance smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards.

These would establish more stringent standards for each model year starting in 2023. The proposed standards will see a 10 per cent emissions improvement for MY 2023 vehicles and then 5 per cent emissions improvement each year after.’

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (August 2021)

10 August 2021

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