US Lags Electric Vehicle Sales Despite Pressure From Biden Administration | US News

The Biden administration, amid a major push to encourage adoption of electric vehicles, has received a sobering reminder how far behind the United States is in adopting zero-emission cars.

The White House has set a target for electric vehicles to account for 50% of all new car sales by the end of this decade to reduce global warming emissions and help prevent climate change. catastrophic.

But a new report has found that electric cars will only account for 4% of US sales in 2021, compared to 9% in China and 14% of new sales in Europe.

Line graph showing the sales of new electric vehicles in China, Europe and the United States from 2015 to 2020.

This is in line with a separate recent trend: While electric vehicles are on the rise in the United States, with sales rising 28% per year between 2015 and 2020, other major auto markets have grown significantly. The electric vehicle fleet has grown 51% per year in China over the same five-year period, while Europe has seen an annual increase of 41%.

Lack of federal support for electric vehicles, cheap gasoline prices in the United States and lack of charging infrastructure are holding back progress, according to the ING report, with a drastic increase of nearly 9 million zero-emission car sales needed by 2030 to meet the administration’s target.

Table of forecast sales of electric vehicles in the United States needed to reach 50% market share by 2030.

“What happened was that Europe set new carbon dioxide limits for cars while Donald Trump pushed the United States back,” said Margo Oge, who previously oversaw the regulations. vehicles to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in reference to the former president’s decision to reduce pollution. standards for new vehicles. “The policies of the Trump administration reflect the backwardness of the United States. But the United States can catch up if it does the right things.

Joe Biden has sought to put his weight behind electric cars, recently taking the new electric Hummer for a test drive at a GM plant in Michigan and declaring it “one hell of a vehicle.” On Sunday, Pete Buttigieg, Presidential Transport Secretary, again touted the merits of electric vehicles, saying that anyone who buys one “will never have to worry about gas prices again.”

The administration is basing its hopes on a sweeping $ 1.75 billion reconciliation bill, which has yet to be passed by an equally divided Senate, to push through passage. The legislation provides tax credits of up to $ 12,500 for car buyers if they choose an electric vehicle. A separate infrastructure bill passed last month provided billions of dollars to meet Biden’s goal of installing 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country.

Meanwhile, the EPA is preparing to issue new regulations, which are expected to be unveiled before Christmas, that will demand stricter fuel efficiency standards for new cars. The EPA is also expected to follow through on an executive order signed by Biden that requires the 50% electric vehicle target to be met.

Legislative and regulatory actions, Oge said, will help automakers like Ford and GM, which have already set their own targets to phase out gasoline and diesel cars, deliver on their promises. “If the White House gives this strong message, I think businesses will really start to move on this,” she said.

It is still unclear what level of incentive for electric vehicles will come from the Reconciliation Bill, however, with centrist Senator Joe Manchin a decisive vote, voicing his opposition to the fact that the maximum reimbursement of $ 12,500 depends on electric vehicles made in the United States by a union workforce. .

Some automakers have also objected to this, pointing out that virtually no electric cars are currently made by unionized workers in the United States. The plan “would severely limit consumer choice and adaptability,” according to a letter sent to senators by a dozen automakers, including Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota. Biden said he wanted “these jobs here in Michigan, not halfway around the world” during a visit to a UAW auto union training facility in October.

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