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Dig Into Biden's EV Goals

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April 9, 2021—Previous reporting in ADAPT has shown that consumer confidence and accessible infrastructure are two key barriers to greater electric vehicle adoption.

President Joe Biden is looking to address both concerns with his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which was released last week.

Electric vehicle spending is a big chunk of that plan. Coming in at $174 billion, the plan would incentivize domestic automakers and potential car buyers in various ways. Those plans are getting praise from trade groups like the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA).

“The plan put forward by President Biden today demonstrates the leadership necessary to drive a swift and equitable transition to electric transportation,” said ZETA Executive Director Joe Britton in a press release.

 

Point of Purchase

One part of Biden's plan is to offer some kind of purchase incentive toward electric vehicles. There is currently a $7,500 federal tax credit, but as Tech Crunch reports, that's not available for smaller vehicles from smaller OEMs (as small as Tesla, for example).

A direct rebate might be in the works for Biden's plan, and it might only apply to American-made vehicles, Cnet Roadshow reports. It's not yet clear what amount any tax credit or direct subsidy might be.

 

Charging Stations

The big number in the EV section of Biden's infrastructure plan is a goal of 500,000 charging stations across the country by 2030. A White House memo says that the construction will involve "strong labor, training, and installation standards."

Cnet Roadshow reports that this will involve a mix of grants and other incentives for state and local governments, as well as private companies.

Fast chargers are expensive. CNBC reports that the cost of charging stations increases based on the speed and power of the charge. The outlet cited one researcher that said $50 billion would be needed to accommodate EV growth in the U.S.

Estimates range for current figures, but there are currently between 30,000 and 40,000 stations in the U.S. with 85,000 to 100,000 plugs that are publicly available. 

 

Other Provisions

Biden's plan will also allocate resources to electrify 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and 20 percent of school buses, according to the White House.

The plan also has eyes on the U.S. Postal Service fleet for electrification. ZETA recently opposed the White House's pick of OshKosh Defense to manufacture the next fleet of USPS delivery vans precisely because it didn't adequately address electrification. Early plans indicated that only a portion of the new fleet would be electric.

 

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