The transition to electric vehicles in one of the world’s biggest and toughest markets – the United States – is beginning to take shape as President Joe Biden begins fleshing out a potential pathway to transitioning away from combustion vehicles.
President Joe Biden admits US is playing catch up with a world rapidly overtaking it (despite the success of Tesla), and has announced a plan to boost the growth of locally manufactured electric vehicles in the US. “The American Jobs Plan will create incentives to continue to lower the cost of and support market demand for electric vehicles”, he said.
It is part of the administration’s $2 trillion USD infrastrucutre plan. Consumer incentives to purchase EVs are the keystone of the plan, with a caveat that these incentives will not go towards “luxury models” and that they would incentivise manufactureres with good labour practices. Additional cash will go towards EV charging stations, research, supply chain and manufacturing.
The announcement also includes money for transit buses, school buses and the transformation of federal government fleets to electric alternatives. “The federal government spends more than a half-a-trillion dollars buying goods and services each year. This purchasing power can be used to drive innovation and clean energy production, as well as to support high quality jobs”.
Biden made the announcement at the Ford testing track in Dearborn, Michigan. He test-drove the new Ford F150 Lightning electric ute, seen as a game-changing vehicle given the popularity of the ICE version of this model among Americans.
“This sucker’s quick”, Biden said. Associated Press reports that a long range F150 Lightning will be capable of travelling 300 miles – 480 kilometres – on a single charge.
Ford later revealed the F150. See our story here: Ford counters Tesla Cybertruck with tradie-ready F-150 electric ute. During a tour of the facility, Ford’s engineers revealed the batteries weigh approximately 816 kilograms, which Biden suggested rivals the size of batteries used in electric school buses.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning makes an early appearance during President Biden’s visit to Dearborn, Michigan. From what we can see, the pickup truck will feature a full-width LED light bar, a unique front grille, as well as a set aerodynamic wheels. #Ford #F150 #F150Lightning pic.twitter.com/fugGTCr7hN
— Cole Marzen (@cole_marzen) May 18, 2021
Recently, transportation became the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Biden’s recently announced updated NDC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half within ten years will require significant changes to policy. “To hit Biden’s new target, federal fuel economy regulations need to be dramatically tightened. Starting as soon as possible. Without this, the targets won’t be hit”, said Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Colin Mckerracher.
Ketan Joshi has been at the forefront of clean energy for eight years, starting out as a data analyst working in wind energy, and expanding that knowledge base to community engagement, climate science and new energy technology. He writes for The Driven’s parent site, RenewEconomy, and has also written for the Guardian, The Monthly, ABC News and has penned several hundred blog posts digging into climate and energy issues, building a position as a respected and analytical energy commentator in Australia. He’s spoken at the Ethics Centre IQ2 debates on the need for urgent decarbonisation, he’s served as an subject matter expert on national television, and has a wide following on social media around energy and climate.