Biden Puts Electric Vehicle Jobs into High Gear

By Roland Hwang

Electrification of the world’s cars and trucks is racing forward. The only questions are: Will it be fast enough to avert a climate catastrophe, and where will these technological wonders be built? Fortunately, through the proposed American Jobs Plan, President Biden has an answer to these critical questions. Through a massive $174 billion proposed investment, the American Jobs Plan would help put the electric vehicle market into the fast lane, bring the manufacturing supply chain for batteries and vehicles to the U.S., and ensure the creation of good-quality, domestic jobs.

Specifically, the EV investment component of Biden’s economic recovery plan would provide investments to:

  • On shore good-quality EV manufacturing jobs by enabling automakers to spur domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, to retool factories to compete globally, and to support American workers to make batteries and EVs. The plan also seeks to ensure those investments can produce good-quality jobs with strong labor standards and that pay prevailing wages.
  • Spur the domestic EV market by giving consumers point of sale rebates and tax incentives to buy American-made EVs, while ensuring that these vehicles are affordable for all families and manufactured by workers with good jobs.
  • Lay the foundations for a nation-wide charging network by establish grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, while promoting strong labor, training, and installation standards.
  • Set us on path to 100 percent clean buses by replacing 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify at least 20 percent of our yellow school bus fleet through a new Clean Buses for Kids Program at the Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the Department of Energy. These investments will set us on a path to 100 percent clean, zero-emission buses, while ensuring that the American workforce is trained to operate and maintain this 21st century infrastructure.
  • Electrify the federal fleet, including the United States Postal Service.

These are bold, historic proposals and ones that will help the U.S. transition to the production and sale of all zero-emitting vehicles within the next 15 years. Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and a major source of public-health harming pollutants. Expanding the EV fleet is a key component of cutting those emissions. After all, with our grid becoming cleaner each year, EVs are the only vehicles that get cleaner as they age.

Importantly, the public investment in EVs should be coupled with extending and strengthening the clean car standards established by the Obama administration. The Plan will help to ensure that the Biden Administration’s climate goals can be met, including the goal of 100 percent sales of electric vehicles and for the U.S. to be net-zero emitter of global warming pollution by 2050. The next step is for the Administration to have EPA quickly restore the Obama-era clean car standards through 2025, and then immediately begin the process for setting future standards.

The Americans Jobs Plan prioritizes investment requirements to ensure creation of good-paying, union jobs of the future. It also seeks to address long-standing and persistent racial injustice, including by targeting 40 percent of the benefits of the climate and clean infrastructure investments to low-income communities and communities of color that have disproportionately faced pollution burdens. In addition to investments in clean cars, the plan calls for a historic reorientation of our transportation system, putting an emphasis of public transit, safe streets, reconnecting communities and affordable housing. (Read more about it from my colleague Deron Lovaas here.)

The Biden campaign laid out a vision that America can solve multiple crises at once; the American Jobs Plan creates the roadmap for that vision to build back better: creating millions of good jobs, addressing racial injustice, and averting a climate catastrophe.

Article Courtesy of NRDC

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