Harris Reveals Plan to Build 500,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Monday’s federal strategy by the Biden Administration aims to create 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the nation and lower the price of these vehicles. This is in the pursuit of the Biden government’s goal to transform the U.S. automobile industry.
“The future of transportation in our nation and around the world is electric,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at an EV charging facility in suburban Maryland.
President Joe Biden has signed a $1 trillion infrastructure legislation. It authorizes charging stations across the country and provides $5 billion for state construction. Maryland received $63 Million. Additional $2.5 Billion is available for grants to local communities and rural areas that support charging stations.
Biden’s $2 trillion social and environmental policy bill, now pending in the Senate, includes a $7,500 tax credit to lower the cost of electric vehicles.
The Biden administration wants “to make electric vehicles accessible for everyone,” Harris said. “Absolutely make it accessible for everyone and easy. Just like filling up your car with gas.”
Harris visited a maintenance facility in Brandywine, just outside Washington, where she received a demonstration of how chargers work and learned about a plan to electrify the government fleet in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.
“There’s no sound or fume!” Harris exclaimed as a local worker demonstrated the charger. “How do I know it’s actually working?”
The car is fully charged when it’s blinking green, the worker told her.
The White House stated that the new EV charging strategy will establish a joint federal Energy and Transportation office; issue guidance and standards for the states; and allow consultations with manufacturers and other state and local governments.
They will also establish an advisory group on electric cars that will meet at the beginning of next year. Officials are hopeful this committee will become operational.
Accelerated adoption of electric vehicles for personal cars and commercial fleets would help achieve Biden’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050 while creating thousands of jobs, the White House said.
It is also hoped that the U.S. will be able to leapfrog China’s plug-in EV market. The U.S. currently has one-third of the global market for electric cars.
Biden has established a goal for electric cars and trucks to account for at least half the new vehicles sold in 2030.
The LMC Automotive consulting firm expects U.S. sales of new fully electric vehicles to hit nearly 400,000 this year, almost double last year’s figure. Although EVs account for only 2.6%, LMC Automotive expects sales of fully electric vehicles to increase to 730,000 next and 2 million by 2025.
Even at 2,000,000, EVs would only make up about 12% U.S. sales of new vehicles.
Republicans including those who voted for the infrastructure bill have criticised Biden’s preoccupation with electric vehicles technology while Americans face a rise in natural gas and gasoline prices.
Biden last month ordered a record 50 million barrels of oil released from America’s strategic reserve, in coordination with other major energy consuming nations. In recent weeks, gasoline prices fell as people fear another economic slowdown caused by the continuing coronavirus epidemic.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Sunday’s average price was $3.33/gallon. This is a drop of about 7 cents compared with late last month.
Detroit, Associated Press journalist Tom Krisher contributed to this article.