US lags behind in EV sales despite Biden government push | US news

The Biden administration was soberly reminded of how badly the US is lagging behind in adopting zero-emission cars amid a major push to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.

The White House has set a goal that electric vehicles should account for 50% of all new car sales by the end of this decade to reduce planet warming emissions and avert catastrophic climate change.

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

Line chart showing sales of new electric vehicles in China, Europe and the US from 2015 to 2020.

This corresponds to a clear trend of recent times: while electric vehicles are on the advance in the USA with an annual increase in sales of 28% between 2015 and 2020, the other major auto markets are clearly ahead. The electric vehicle fleet in China grew by 51% annually over the same five-year period, while in Europe there was an annual growth of 41%.

A lack of federal government support for electric vehicles, cheap gasoline prices in the US and a lack of charging infrastructure are holding back progress, according to the ING report, with a drastic increase to nearly 9 million the administration’s goal by 2030.

Graph of projected electric vehicle sales in the United States to reach 50% market share by 2030.

“What happened is that Europe set new carbon dioxide limits on cars while Donald Trump took the US back,” Margo Oge, who previously oversaw vehicle regulation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said of the decision the former president to weaken pollution standards for new vehicles. “The policies of the Trump administration reflect the US lag. But the US can catch up if it does the right things. “

Trying to dump his weight behind electric cars, Joe Biden recently took the new electric Hummer out on a test drive at a GM Michigan facility, calling it “a goddamned vehicle.” On Sunday, Pete Buttigieg, the President’s Secretary of Transportation, continued to promote electric cars by stating that anyone who buys one “will never have to worry about gasoline prices again.”

The government is pinning its hopes on a huge $ 1.75 trillion reconciliation bill that has yet to be passed by an evenly-divided Senate to encourage admission. The law allows for tax credits of up to $ 12,500 for car buyers if they opt for an electric vehicle. A separate infrastructure bill passed last month allocated billions of dollars to Biden’s goal of installing 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country.

Meanwhile, the EPA is preparing to enact new regulations, due before Christmas, that will require stricter fuel efficiency standards for new cars. The EPA is also expected to act on an executive order signed by Biden calling for the 50% target for electric vehicles to be met.

The legislative and regulatory measures, Oge said, will help automakers like Ford and GM, who have already set their own targets to phase out gasoline and diesel cars, keep their promises. “With the White House conveying this strong message, I think companies will really start doing it,” she said.

It is still uncertain how high the incentive for electric vehicles from the Atonement Act will be, but with centrist Senator Joe Manchin, a key vote who has opposed the $ 12,500 maximum discount depending on electric vehicles Manufactured in the US by a union workforce.

Some automakers have also objected to this, pointing out that there are hardly any electric cars currently being made by unionized workers in the United States. The plan would “severely limit consumer choice and adaptability,” she said a letter sent to senators by a dozen auto companies, including Volkswagen, Honda, and Toyota. Biden said during a visit to a UAW auto union training center in October that he wanted “these jobs here in Michigan, not halfway around the world.”

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