President Joe Biden made his goals related to proliferating electric vehicles way before he was elected to White House. Advancing EVs was a long-standing campaign promise of his, and he wasted little time in the early phase of his presidency in sharing his plans related to these zero-emissions vehicles. And while before now much of this was relegated to political talk, President Biden has officially laid out exactly how he intends to go about this. During the debut of the American Jobs Plan in a speech in Pittsburgh yesterday, the president pledged some $174 billion towards electric vehicles, their necessary infrastructure, and the American supply chain of production materials.
The proposed spending comes as part of Biden’s greater $2 trillion infrastructure plan, of which $610 billion are allotted for transportation-related infrastructure, such as roadways, bridges, public transit, and electric vehicles.
“It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we’ve built the interstate highway system or the space race,” Said President Joe Biden. “Our infrastructure is crumbling. It’s 13th in the world.”
Of all the countries in the world, though, 13th place could be worse.
The money is intended to help speed up the adoption of electric vehicles here in the United States, while also helping to bolster the economy. The plan aims to fund production and development of electric vehicle batteries and components here in the U.S., in a move to reduce the country’s over-dependence on a global supply chain. Of course you can’t have widespread EV usage without a strong charging network, and President Biden’s plan includes grants and incentives to construct some 500,000 chargers by 2030.
President Biden’s plan to electrify the federal fleet is also included in the infrastructure proposal, as is the move to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles with zero-emissions vehicles. Furthermore, the administration is hoping to electrify at least 20 percent of school buses across the nation. Part of the spending has also been allocated to help extend the tax incentives and customer rebates that EV manufacturers and buyers receive, per Reuters.
Electric vehicles can only do some good when they’re charged by fossil fuel power plants, which is why the proposal also seeks to bolster renewable energy usage in the United States. Along these same lines, the American Jobs Plan aims to remove tax loopholes and other subsidies that support fossil fuel companies domestically. That said, Biden did not go as far as to join California’s senators in their plan to ban ICE-vehicles outright, which is a small victory for the everyday American in this case.
This all sounds fine and good, however the American Jobs Plan is somewhat vague in its approach. That isn’t terribly surprising however, as large pieces of legislation tend to be. Nothing in the plan can take effect without Congress’ approval however, which is always tenuous. It’s safe to say that folks will argue that the money won’t do as much as it could for American infrastructure due to its extreme focus on sourcing materials and labor from American companies. And while it’s true that unionized labor in the U.S. isn’t a cheap commodity, putting that money into American companies and into workers’ hands is the backbone of the plan’s ideation.
You can read the Joe Biden White House’s breakdown of the American Jobs Plan here.