Whether it’s the Build Back Better Agenda or the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, there’s no denying that job creation and government investment in key industries have been a major initiative by the Biden Administration. On Friday, Biden announced a series of actions to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption in America, go toe-to-toe with Chinese industry, and fight climate change.
“Specifically, the President will sign an Executive Order that sets an ambitious new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles,” the White House said in a statement. “The Executive Order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis.”
In conjunction with Biden’s announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Transportation (USDOT) are counteracting rollbacks by the Trump Administration on fuel efficiency and admission standards. “Through these coordinated notices of proposed rulemaking, the two agencies are advancing smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would deliver around US$140 billion in net benefits over the life of the program, save about 200 billion gallons of gasoline, and reduce around two billion metric tons of carbon pollution,” said the White House in a statement. “For the average consumer, this means net benefits of up to US$900 over the life of the vehicle in fuel savings.”
The Auto Industries’ EV Push
American automakers Ford, GM, and Stellantis and the United Auto Workers (UAW) stood with President Biden at the White House in support of the deal. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, there’s been a rush of support for EVs from both American and foreign automakers.
In April, Toyota unveiled its new electric SUV, the bZ4X, at the Shanghai Motor Show, modeling the new EV after its popular RAV4. Toyota plans to introduce 70 EVs globally by 2025, 15 of which will be dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The bZ4X will begin production in China and Japan with plans to sell worldwide by 2022.
In May, Italian luxury car maker, Lamborghini, announced its 10-year sustainability path, including an all-electric car by 2030. The roadmap is dubbed “Cor Tauri,” a reference to Lamborghini’s bull logo. “Cor Tauri is the brightest star in the Taurus constellation, and represents Lamborghini’s move toward a future that is electrified but always faithful to the heart and soul of the ‘bull’ brand,” said the company in a statement. “The heart and compass of the Cor Tauri transformation plan is the brand’s DNA, and its innate ability to turn challenges into opportunities through continuous technological innovations, leading to improved performance and driving emotions but within the constraints imposed by the increasingly stringent carbon dioxide [CO2] regulations. A journey toward a new Lamborghini, but always faithful to itself and its roots.”
Also in May, Ford provided updates on its EV projects. For years, the EV pickup truck industry has been quiet. Sure, we’ve heard a peep from a Tesla Cybertruck here. A whisper from a Rivian truck there. But nothing from a legacy automaker with decades of truck production under its belt. That is, until Ford dropped an absolute bomb with the F-150 Lightning, which also comes in Platinum, Lariat, and XLT. The new all-electric models will be available starting in spring of 2022.
The F-150 Lightning builds upon Ford’s F-Series line, which has been the best-selling truck in the United States for 44 years. The F-150 Lightning is targeting a range of 300 miles (483 km), 563 horsepower, and 775 lb.-ft. (1051 nm) of torque, which would give it the highest torque of any F-150 ever. For comparison, even the highest rated 2020 F-150 engine, the 5-liter V8, had just 400 lb.-ft. (542 nm) of torque at 4500 rpm.
Details of the announcement, as well as associated announcements by federal agencies, are as follows:
Build Back Better Investment Agenda
The global market is shifting to electric vehicles and tapping their potential to save families money, lower pollution, and make the air we breathe cleaner. Despite pioneering the technology, the United States is behind in the race to manufacture these vehicles and the batteries that go in them. Today, the US market share of EV sales is only one-third that of the Chinese EV market. The President believes it is time for the United States to lead in EV manufacturing, infrastructure, and innovation, by investing in:
- Installing the first-ever national network of EV charging stations.
- Delivering point-of-sale consumer incentives to spur US manufacturing and union jobs.
- Financing the retooling and expansion of the full domestic manufacturing supply chain.
- Innovating the next generation of clean technologies to maintain our competitive edge.
Through the investments in the Build Back Better Agenda and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, we can strengthen US leadership in EVs and batteries. These once-in-a-generation investments will position America to win the future of transportation and manufacturing and create good-paying, union jobs, dramatically expand American manufacturing, make electric vehicles more affordable for families, and export our EVs around the world.
And, the President has already made a down payment on his vision for US leadership in auto manufacturing. Last month, the Department of Commerce announced US$3 billion in currently available American Rescue Plan funds that can be used to advance the domestic EV industry in communities that have historically been the backbone of our auto industry.
Electric Vehicles Ambition For 2030
Over the last decade, we have seen a transformation in the technology costs, performance, and availability of EVs. Since 2010:
- Battery pack costs dropped by 85%, paving the way to sticker price parity with gasoline-powered vehicles.
- Average vehicle range increased dramatically as charging times shortened.
- Electric models available to U.S. consumers expanded to over 40 last year – and growing.
Seeing this shift, countries are sprinting to lead. For example, China is increasingly cornering the global supply chain for EVs and batteries with its fast-growing EV market. By setting clear targets for EV sale trajectories, these countries are becoming magnets for private investment into their manufacturing sectors – from parts and materials to final assembly.
President Biden is committed to changing that and delivering for the American people. That is why he will sign an Executive Order that sets a new target of EVs representing half of new vehicles sold in 2030. This builds on the announcements today from automakers, representing nearly the entire US auto market who have positioned around the goal of reaching 40% to 50% EV sales share in 2030. More than a deployment target, it is a goal to leverage once-in-generation investments and a whole-of-government effort to lift up the American autoworker and strengthen American leadership in clean cars and trucks. The 2030 target is calibrated to provide time for existing manufacturing facilities to upgrade without stranding assets, upgrades that will be catalyzed by the Build Back Better Agenda, and lean into a path that expands domestic US manufacturing with union workers.
Smart Fuel Efficiency And Emissions Standards
Consistent with the President’s Day One Executive Order, the EPA and USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will announce how they are addressing the previous administration’s harmful rollbacks of near-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The two agencies’ standards work in a compatible fashion through model year 2026, with the NHTSA proposed rule starting in model year 2024 and the EPA proposed rule taking effect a year sooner with model year 2023. The standards build on the momentum from the “California Framework Agreement” – an agreement between the State of California and five automakers: Ford, Honda, Volkswagen Group, BMW, and Volvo.
Through these coordinated notices of proposed rulemaking, the two agencies are advancing smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would deliver around US$140 billion in net benefits over the life of the standards, including asthma attacks avoided and lives saved, save about 200 billion gallons of gasoline, and reduce around two billion metric tons of carbon pollution. For the average consumer, this means net savings of up to US$900 over the life of the vehicle from fuel savings.
Building on these near-term steps, the Executive Order that the President will sign kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. Specifically, the Executive Order lays out a robust schedule for development of fuel efficiency and multi-pollutant emissions standards through at least model year 2030 for light-duty vehicles and for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles starting as early as model year 2027. The Executive Order also directs agencies to:
- Consult with the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Energy on ways to accelerate innovation and manufacturing in the automotive sector, to strengthen the domestic supply chain for that sector, and to grow jobs that provide good pay and benefits.
- Engage with California and other states leading the way in reducing vehicle emissions.
- Secure input from a diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives from labor unions, industry, environmental justice organizations, and public health experts.
Together, today’s announcements would put us on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger vehicle sales by more than 60% in 2030 compared to vehicles sold last year, and facilitate achieving the President’s goal of 50% to 52% net economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions below 2005 levels in 2030.