DETROIT-President Joe Biden highlighted billions of dollars in his cross-party huge infrastructure agreement to pay for the installation of electric car chargers across the country. He said this investment will greatly help contain the world Warming carbon emissions while creating high-return jobs.
Biden visited a GM plant in Detroit that produces electric cars on Wednesday. He plans to use this opportunity to prove that the $7.5 billion in the new electric vehicle charger infrastructure law will help the United States “stand by” in terms of green energy manufacturing. At present, the market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales in the United States is one-third of China’s electric vehicle market.
When Biden visited the factory, he pointed out that the United States is not yet a leader in electric vehicles, and he believes his infrastructure package and additional investment in clean energy can change this.
“China is far ahead of us,” the president said.
The President has the opportunity to test drive an electric GMC Hummer, which starts at US$108,700. He and an agent climbed onto a vehicle weighing more than four tons, started slowly, and then stepped on the floor:
— CSPAN (@cspan)
November 17, 2021
He drew closer to the waiting reporters and delegation, and asked, “Does anyone want to jump behind?”
“This fool is something else,” he declared.
Two senior White House advisers wrote in the Detroit Free Press that the bill will help the United States restore its global competitiveness, which they believe has weakened “after decades of delay and decline.”
“No one knows this better than Detroit. Detroit used to be at the core of American industrial strategy, and now it’s okay. That’s why President Biden is coming today,” said Brian Dee, director of the National Economic Council and the Department of National Security. Writes Brian Deese. Advisor Jack Sullivan in an opinion column published on Wednesday.
Republicans, and even some who voted for the infrastructure plan, criticized Biden for focusing on electric vehicle technology as Americans struggle with soaring gasoline and natural gas prices.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech in the Senate on Tuesday that “the Biden administration has no strategic plan to turn our huge country into a green utopia overnight.”
“They just want to invest a lot of government money in things like solar panels and electric cars, and hope everything goes well,” said McConnell, one of 19 Republican senators who voted for the infrastructure bill. He added: “American families are staring at soaring heating bills, and the Democratic Party’s response is to fight against affordable American energy.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki emphasized that the government is studying “every tool in our arsenal” to combat high oil prices, and said that Biden and his economic team are “very concerned” about this issue.
Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to monitor gasoline prices and resolve any illegal activities that have been observed, and is in contact with OPEC and other foreign countries and entities to increase supplies.
Biden went a step further on Wednesday, sending a letter to the FTC chairman asking the FTC chairman to consider investigating “whether illegal acts cost the family.” The letter pointed out that there is an “unexplainable” gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the price of gas station consumers.
The General Motors factory that Biden visited was originally scheduled to close in 2018 because as buyers switch to SUVs and trucks, the automaker is trying to get rid of excess factory capacity to produce cars. However, the plant has been producing internal combustion engine vehicles since it opened in 1985. It was rescued a year later and designated a zero plant to produce zero-emission electric vehicles.
Currently, this 4.1 million square foot factory straddles the border between Detroit and the Hamtrak enclave and is producing pre-production versions of the electric GMC Hummer pickup truck.
It will start production of Hummer electric SUV next year. The plant will begin production of Origin in 2023, which is an electric car of General Motors Cruise’s self-driving car subsidiary, and will produce electric Chevrolet Silverado pickups on an unspecified date.
The plant will not see much direct impact from infrastructure spending, but it will benefit from the US$7.5 billion earmarked to help build an electric vehicle charging network.
Biden wants 15 billion U.S. dollars to build 500,000 chargers, but did not give a figure on how many chargers can be built with half the amount.
US$7.5 billion may not be enough. The International Clean Transportation Commission stated that if 36% of new car sales are electric vehicles, the United States will need 2.4 million charging stations by 2030. At present, there are about 45,500 charging stations in the country and about 112,000 plugs.
Biden hopes to make more efforts to promote electric vehicles, including providing a tax credit of $7,500 for consumers who purchase electric vehicles by 2026, which is part of his proposed $1.85 trillion social service and climate bill.
In the second year, only purchases of electric vehicles made in the United States are eligible for the credit. If the vehicle was produced in a US factory operated under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by a union, the basic credit would increase by US$4,500. Only car plants owned by General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellatis NV are eligible.
When Biden hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador at the White House on Thursday for the first North American Leaders Summit since 2016, there was Tax relief that favors American-made cars may become a point of tension.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said that when the two met in Washington last week, she raised concerns with Secretary of State Anthony Brinken that the proposed tax credit would be detrimental to North America’s integrated auto industry. Affects and puts thousands of jobs in Canada at risk.