The Biden Administration Unveils a Roadmap for its EV Ambitions

By Stockton Grunewald
We need more of these charging stations, pronto! Getty Images

Vice President Harris outlines White House plan to make electric vehicles and chargers in the USA.

The Biden administration on Monday announced an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging “Action Plan” to help “supercharge America’s efforts to lead the electric future,” including efforts to strengthen domestic supply chains and create jobs for American manufacturers.

Speaking at the Brandywine Maintenance Facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Vice President Kamala Harris and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm outlined what exactly this multi-pronged effort will look like: An ambitious attempt to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the United States.

“The future is electric,” Secretary Granholm said, “We need to do four things. Number one, we have to get these charging stations out in every pocket of the country…. The second thing we have to do: Make sure these electric vehicles are accessible to everyone…. Third thing we have to do is build out that entire supply chain here in the United States…. That battery now has largely been built in Asia, and this President and this Vice President have said, ‘No, we’re not going to stand by and allow that opportunity to miss us as a country! We’re going to build those batteries in the United States, stamp them ‘Made in America’ and export them around the world.’

“And the fourth thing we have to do, is when these vehicles are plugged in, that the electricity they are using is clean electricity.”

The action plan builds off the recently passed infrastructure legislation, which includes $7.5 billion to build those EV charging stations across America. Both the vice president and Secretary Granholm emphasized the importance of public charging stations, citing it as the “number one” concern among those who are interested, but have not purchased electric vehicles.

“In the year 2021, there can be no doubt that the future of transportation in our nation and around the world is electric,” Harris said. “And because that is true, our nation’s ability to manufacture, charge, and repair EVs will determine many things.”

The president’s other economic legislative priority, the Build Back Better Act, includes a $7,500 tax credit to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle. Additionally, the proposed package has a $500 credit for the purchase of an American-made battery – and if the EV is made domestically by a union, consumers could receive another $4,500 off the price tag.

The auto industry is clearly moving toward electric. We need to make the shift faster, and make sure it is driven by the United States.

Vice President Kamala Harris

To help consolidate existing federal tools, the White House will establish a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation in those corresponding federal departments. The Joint Office hopes its efforts will “ensure the agencies can work together to implement the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“The auto industry is clearly moving toward electric,” said the vice president. “We need to make the shift faster, and make sure it is driven by the United States. That means manufacturing millions of electric cars, trucks, and buses right here in our country. That means outfitting thousands of EV electric vehicle repair garages, and it means installing a national network of EV chargers.”

Hoping to gauge the amount of available domestic content, the administration has released a request for information from domestic manufacturers to “identify EV chargers and other charging related components that meet (US Department of Transportation) Buy America requirements and to highlight the benefits of shifting all manufacturing and assembly processes to the United States.”

The White House has also taken great interest in domestic sourcing for electric vehicle components, namely batteries. The action plan designates “$3 billion in competitive grants for battery minerals and refined materials aimed at accelerating the development of the North American battery supply chain,” and “an additional $3 billion for competitive grants aimed at building, retooling, or expanding manufacturing of batteries and battery components (such as cathodes, anodes, and electrolytes), and to establish recycling facilities in the United States.”

We want more families in America to be able to afford an electric car that is made in America,” the Vice President concluded, “Our future depends on it.”

To hear the Vice President’s full remarks, click here. If you would like to read more about the administration’s action plan, click here.