Written by Theo Koenig – April 08, 2021
Reviewed by Kfir Kedem
Last week, the Biden administration unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure and economy recovery package that is aimed at bolstering the bounce-back from COVID-19. The proposed bill aims at spending the money over the next 8 years, and specifically identifies areas of the EV market that need revamping.
According to the bill, a reported $621 million would to be invested into transit infrastructure which includes bridges, roads, public transport, airports, and the electric vehicle market. Specifically, $175 million will be directly allocated to spurring the development and adoption of electric vehicles.
The attention-grabbing goal is the proposal to add 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030 to the current charging network. The number of electric chargers currently lies at around 100,000 with the majority being level 2 chargers (level 3 being the highest level). The bill acknowledges that the U.S. market share for plug-in vehicles is currently one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. Specifically, the bill is targeted at encouraging the purchase of American-made EVs to make up lost ground (no information given as to what “American-made” entails exactly). Beyond this, the $175 million dedicated to the project would help boost current EV factories and strengthen the domestic supply of materials for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Another area that will see increased support from the federal government is the tax incentives available for EV buyers. Grants and other incentives specifically for the charging infrastructure will also be present.
A strong emphasis was also placed upon using cleaner, renewable sources of energy, specifically through the support and cooperation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy. The proposal aims at electrifying 20% of the yellow-bus school fleet, along with replacements to the current United States Postal Services transportation methods.
2 substantial hurdles will await the Biden administration in their goal of revamping the electric vehicle market. The first being the usual caveat that this bill is currently only a proposal and will require Congress to pass legislation. Especially considering the fact that the bill hopes to be heavily funded by increases in corporate taxes, expect strong opposition even with democrats controlling both houses of Congress. The second challenge to face is the need for a public-private partnership. This means heavy cooperation between local municipalities and charging utility companies as well as the automakers themselves.
Auto Trendy’s take:
The good news is that American politics are finally addressing the electric vehicle market at a federal level. While some states, notably California and Colorado spring to mind, have led the way in electric vehicle incentives, others are still lagging behind. As mentioned before, the bill needs approval through Congress, so certainly expect some changes to be made. Naturally, a bill of this size raises a lot of specific questions. We think many electric vehicle owners would appreciate more clarity on the types of chargers (level 2 or 3) as well as the compatibility of plugs that the bill plans to address. Furthermore, many would like to see an improvement in the individual or household charging availabilities, which are currently heavily underfunded. We certainly expect the debate between highway stations vs household charging to heat up in the coming years as America will begin to electrify its vast network of highways. As for the goal of 500,000 charging stations being set up by 2030, we at Auto Trendy, are confident that this goal will be reach soon before then based on industry demand trends.