Highways across the United States should be filled with significantly more electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of the decade, according to President Biden’s recent executive order.
Last week, Biden signed EO 14037: Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks, a major piece of his Build Back Better Agenda. The three-page order sets the tone for the future of transportation in America, including increased emissions regulations to combat climate change, and sets the goal of increasing EV production to account for half of all new vehicles sold by 2030. Detroit’s “Big 3” auto manufacturers, along with the United Auto Workers union, attended the event in support, while some organizations criticized the effectiveness of the order. Telsa, the best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer in the United States for 2020, but has a non-union workforce, was not invited to the event.
The President’s emissions reduction plan is largely modeled after California’s Framework Agreement, which set tougher emission standards in the state through an agreement with five major auto manufacturers. One part of the proposed rules would make emissions standards 10 percent stricter for new vehicles beginning with the 2023 model year.
For EVs, the President’s order called for major investment to make the 50 percent by 2030 plan viable for consumers, calling for $174 billion in spending and incentives. According to a fact sheet published by the White House, these investments include:
· “Installing the first-ever national network of electric vehicle charging stations;
· Delivering point-of-sale consumer incentives to spur U.S. manufacturing and union jobs;
· Financing the retooling and expansion of the full domestic manufacturing supply chain; and,
· Innovating the next generation of clean technologies to maintain our competitive edge.”
The order is legally nonbinding, a fact that some argue nullifies the action entirely. In a statement, Dan Becker, the director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign likened the “voluntary pledges” of these auto manufacturers to be akin to “a New Year’s resolution.”
According to Pew Research Center, as of 2020, there were 1.8 million electric vehicles registered in the United States. The total number of charging stations as of February 2021 is just shy of 100,000 nationwide. A 2017 report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discusses the number of chargers necessary to have 35 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. The report states that to meet these needs, the nation will need to create and install an additional 50,000 DCFC (fast-charging) and 1.2 million additional Level 2 charging stations.
For those living in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Center for Energy Policy & Management is pleased to announce that Washington & Jefferson College is now home to six publicly available Level 2 charging stations on campus made possible through a CEPM project with generous funding by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund.