The White House on Thursday released a "fact sheet" adding detail to President Joe Biden's plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EV), including new funding and research partnerships and providing guidance on how existing federal grant programs can be used by states to install charging infrastructure.
Biden's American Jobs Plan includes $174 billion for EV investments, including chargers and vehicle purchase incentives. Policy experts say much of that proposed spending will need to be authorized by lawmakers, but on Thursday the administration highlighted more than a dozen programs with $41.9 billion in federal grant funding available now and which could be applied to EV infrastructure buildout.
"Identifying resources that exist now can get the ball rolling on this," said Samantha Houston, senior vehicles analyst in the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Transportation Program. "There is a lot of great stuff in the fact sheet."
Federal lawmakers are working to translate Biden's jobs plan into an infrastructure bill that will help to revitalize and decarbonize the United States' economy. While that legislation is being developed, experts say it is important that existing funding opportunities be tapped in order to begin making immediate progress on transportation electrification.
"It's really encouraging to see federal leadership on EVs and charging infrastructure. We need it right now to succeed in this rapid transition to electric transportation," Houston said. "That is the direction the market is going anyway, but we need to get there as quickly as we can."
Electric mobility is currently in a similar place where renewable energy was a few years ago; trending upwards yet not widespread
Mathias Lelièvre, CEO, ENGIE Impact
ENGIE assists companies and governments in setting and meeting climate targets.
The transportation sector is the United States' largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and in order to decarbonize it and the rest of the economy by 2050 Biden is aiming to electrify much of the U.S. vehicle fleet — and bring the power sector to 100% carbon-free by 2035. His administration's new report finds that building 500,000 new public EV chargers is "a key strategy" for reducing emissions.