by Jay Turner
In August 2021, President Biden announced a goal for 50 percent of US car sales to be zero-emissions by 2030. The goal wasn’t just reducing carbon emissions. It was about leveraging “a once-in-a-generation investment and a whole-of-government effort to lift up the American autoworker and strengthen American leadership in clean cars and trucks.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act set that plan into motion, putting billions of dollars of government support into accelerating investments in a domestic electric vehicle supply chain. And the industry has responded. Over the past two years, there have been nearly 50 major announcements, from new mines for critical materials to new EV factories.
How big a deal is this? To take measure of the expanding EV industry, my students and I have been systematically tracking project announcements, tabulating capital investment, target production levels, projected employment, and more. Our interactive dashboard reveals an auto industry on the cusp of transition.
Before getting to the numbers, it is worth remembering that this vision is hardly new. Back in October 2009, Vice President Joe Biden took the stage at a shuttered GM auto plant in Delaware. “We are making a bet on the future,” Biden announced. With a $500 million loan from the federal government, Biden envisioned that electric vehicle start-ups like Fisker Automotive were going to help “write a new chapter in the automotive history of this country.”
Read the rest of this post at MCJ Climate Voices.