Harris wants 500,000 charging sites in plan for electric vehicles to replace 50% of auto sales

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The Biden administration on Monday released a plan it said can help “accelerate” the adoption of electric vehicle use in the United States by building 500,000 charging stations across the country.

Vice President Kamala Harris made the announcement at a government facility in Maryland, extending team Biden’s news last week that they would be pushing by executive order for greener energy in all federal buildings and for its fleets of vehicles.

Monday’s announcement is part of the $ 1 trillion infrastructure law Biden signed last month, which allows charging stations and sets aside $ 5 billion for states, with the aim of building a network of national recharge. The law also provides an additional $ 2.5 billion in local grants to support charging stations in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.

“The automotive industry is clearly moving towards electricity. We need to accelerate change and make sure it is US-led. It means making millions of electric cars, trucks and buses right here in our country, ”Harris said.

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The United States lags behind other major economies in the adoption of electric vehicles. At present, the market share of sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States is one-third the size of the Chinese electric vehicle market, for example. China is one of the United States’ main trade rivals, including in renewables, as world leaders take action to slow global warming.

The administration has set an ambitious goal of a 50% share of electric vehicles in all new car purchases in the United States by 2030, but fast, convenient and reliable charging remains an issue. Most EV owners charge at home and limit the distance they travel by EV.

“When we ask people what’s the biggest barrier to buying an electric car, the answer is almost always where and how to charge it,” Harris said.

The new electric vehicle charging strategy establishes a joint electric vehicle office between the federal departments of energy and transport; publishes guidelines and standards for states; and consults with manufacturers, state and local governments, environmental justice and civil rights groups, tribes and others.

The Biden administration has made it clear that the private sector, as well as states and cities, will need to be on board to secure such a large network.

Aaron Fisher, Director of EVPassport, a public interest organization funded by venture capital
corporation, said one of the biggest challenges is that competition in the space means that not all drivers can access the charging station they are driving to.

“Creating thousands of closed networks in commercial properties, hotels, parking lots, gas stations, etc., will not promote the adoption of electric vehicles,” Fisher said. “The $ 7.5 billion in funding [within the infrastructure law] must be led to open networks which do not force drivers to download specific applications, set up billing accounts, etc., to ensure that they are not stranded on the side of the road ”, a he declared.

“Connected infrastructure is going to be the backbone of driving a hands-on, frictionless experience that will result in greater adoption of electric vehicles,” he added.

The decision to charge electric vehicles is also part of Biden’s goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for all of the United States, a goal largely in line with that of other major countries.

Some Republicans have said this focus on electric vehicles is inappropriate when Americans are faced with an RB00 gasoline spike,
-0.82%
and natural gas NG00,
-1.74%
prices. Fossil fuel trade groups have made the same argument, including to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, which is seen as a key vote as the Biden administration and Democrats look to more spending initiatives on electric vehicles and climate change in the pending Build Back Better bill.

Biden last month ordered a record 50 million barrels of oil released from the US strategic reserve, in an effort to dampen some of the near-term price hike.

Read: A “Made in America” ​​Tax Credit – What Car Buyers Considering a Tesla, Rivian, or Other Electric Vehicles Should Know As Build Back Better Goes to the Senate

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