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Biden seeks to make half of new U.S. auto fleet electric by 2030

Stock MarketsAug 05, 2021 08:51PM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Ramos Arizpe, in Coahuila state, Mexico November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril 2/4

By David Shepardson and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden took a step toward his goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions on Thursday with an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric, a move made with backing from the biggest U.S. automakers.

The administration also proposed new vehicle emissions standards that would cut pollution through 2026, starting with a 10% stringency increase in the 2023 model year.

The actions are part of Biden's broader plan to fight climate change, in this case by targeting emissions from cars and trucks, while working to make the United States an industry leader as China moves to dominate the electric vehicle market.

"The biggest thing that’s happening here is there’s a realization, on the part of both labor and business now, that this is the future. We can’t sit by," Biden told reporters at the White House.

The 50% target, which is not legally binding, won the support of U.S. and foreign automakers, which said that achieving it would require billions of dollars in government funding.

An environmental group, the Safe Climate Transport Campaign, said the White House did not go far enough and called automakers' commitment to a non-binding target unreliable.

General Motors Co (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Co and Chrysler parent Stellantis NV said in a joint statement they aspired "to achieve sales of 40-50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles ... by 2030." Reuters reported the planned automaker announcement on Tuesday.

The goals of both Biden and the automakers include battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles that also have a gasoline engine.

Biden has repeatedly resisted calls from many Democrats to set a binding requirement for EV adoption or to follow California and some countries in setting 2035 as a date to phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles in the face of opposition by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

UAW President Ray Curry, who attended the event, noted the EV goal but said the union was focused "on preserving the wages and benefits that have been the heart and soul of the American middle class."

After signing the executive order on the South Lawn of the White House, Biden jumped into a waiting EV Jeep, which he proceeded to drive rapidly around the grounds.

MIXED REACTION

Senator Gary Peters of Michigan agreed with Biden's decision not to set a hard deadline for phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles. "Flexibility is important ... but at the same token you need to set ambitious goals," he said.

The executive order sets a schedule for developing new emissions standards through at least 2030 for light-duty vehicles and as early as 2027 for larger vehicles.

Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign, criticized the plan. “Voluntary pledges from auto companies make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight look like a legally binding contract,” he said.

General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley were among those in attendance.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc CEO Elon Musk, whose company makes EVs, tweeted early on Thursday: "Seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited."

Asked whether the White House did not invite Musk because Tesla is not a union shop, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: "I'll let you draw your own conclusion."

The Detroit 3 automakers said the aggressive EV sales goals can only be met with billions of dollars in government incentives including consumer subsidies, EV charging networks as well as "investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States."

Hyundai said it supports the 2030 40-50% EV sales goal, while Nissan (OTC:NSANY) said it has a target that more than 40% of its U.S. vehicle sales by 2030 be EVs.

Toyota in a statement called the goal "great for the environment" and said it would "do our part."

Meanwhile, U.S. regulators plan to propose revising former President Donald Trump's March 2020 rollback of fuel economy standards to a 1.5% annual increase in efficiency through 2026.

Biden's proposed rules, which cover 2023-2026, are expected to be similar in overall vehicle emissions reductions to California's 2019 deal with some automakers aiming to improve fuel economy 3.7% annually through 2026, sources told Reuters.

BMW, Honda, Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p), Ford and Volvo Cars - which previously struck the California deal - said in a joint statement they support the administration's EV goal but the federal government must take "bold action ... to build consumer demand."

Consulting firm AlixPartners in June said investments in EVs by 2025 could total $330 billion. EVs now represent about 2% of total global vehicle sales and will be about 24% of total sales by 2030, it forecast.

Biden has called for $174 billion in government spending to boost EVs, including $100 billion in consumer incentives. A bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill includes $7.5 billion for EV charging stations but nothing for new consumer incentives.

Biden seeks to make half of new U.S. auto fleet electric by 2030
 

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Comments (20)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 05, 2021 9:34PM ET
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We endup paying more money to companies. Capitalist at finest: milk u to dealth. U r modern s/l/a/v e for companies. Climate change my rear.
Red Riley
Red Riley Aug 05, 2021 9:34PM ET
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that is not capitalism. that is government interference.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Aug 05, 2021 9:27PM ET
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Biden can't wipe his own behind.. Seriously time to just shut up.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 05, 2021 9:27PM ET
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heh, the next 3 years is going to be torture for you, maybe you should go get your news from Trump's new social media platform GETTR.........
lance Lalonde
lance Lalonde Aug 05, 2021 9:10PM ET
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yup, I think he does think that he is a dictator, but he has already forgotten what he did, lol
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Aug 05, 2021 8:54PM ET
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It won't happen. The U.S. military make sure of it.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Aug 05, 2021 8:53PM ET
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Uh oh! multiple trigger words for the conservative snowflakes on this one
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Aug 05, 2021 8:53PM ET
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- Wrong Benji, you don't even know the origin and target of the moniker.. yep, it's little wokist socialist dembots who neeeed safe spaces so they don't get triggered by the truth and reality that conservatives uphold.. the ONLY snowflakes in America vote dem and take CNN as a religion. You're so far down that brainwashed rabbit hole that you're actually trying to put your life defining moniker on those that blatantly gave it to you.. feeble and sad...
Dee Graham
Dee Graham Aug 05, 2021 8:53PM ET
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Silence Dogood Thanks for proving his point
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Aug 05, 2021 8:53PM ET
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Benjamin didn't make it very difficult for you, did he?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 05, 2021 8:53PM ET
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Dee Graham   it's like Povlov's dog, too funny
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 05, 2021 8:51PM ET
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oh he's a dictator now? f him
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Aug 05, 2021 8:51PM ET
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If trump said it you would be jizzing right now
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Aug 05, 2021 6:55PM ET
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garbage, stop buying electric cars!
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 05, 2021 6:55PM ET
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no one is forced to buy an electric cars, why shouldn't the consumers have the choice to buy an electric or diesel/petrol car?
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Aug 05, 2021 6:10PM ET
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Greenwash.
Bib Wi
Bib Wi Aug 05, 2021 6:03PM ET
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yes with what Biden made I'm happy to ban oil, ban tourists, migrants, support not working EV, Tesla is going to trash due to battery after 150000 km range only 70 km, battery losing capacity, and is not existing ecologic liquidation welcome to support economy Tesla is due to unsaleable include other EV
Grab My Grape Sack
Grab My Grape Sack Aug 05, 2021 5:58PM ET
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the let's-all-die-together arguments are from the people of the best of the bestest countries.
David David
David9 Aug 05, 2021 5:49PM ET
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There is no way this can be accomplished here... we move much much slower here...
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Aug 05, 2021 5:19PM ET
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tesla lol
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Aug 05, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Thank goodness he doesn’t have the power to enforce such a silly idea.
Waldemar Gau
Waldemar Gau Aug 05, 2021 4:58PM ET
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WKHS will profit
Dude Dd
Dude Dd Aug 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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go buy Hazer Group now
Christian Gustafson
Christian Gustafson Aug 05, 2021 9:27AM ET
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Biden is not POTUS. He will be gone soon.
Ron Love
Ron Love Aug 05, 2021 9:27AM ET
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Biden was elected by the Electoral College on January 6th. Not sure what you mean.
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Aug 05, 2021 9:27AM ET
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Ron Love Harris is the real potus
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 05, 2021 9:27AM ET
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gosh I wish you were right. but stop drinking the kool-aid
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 05, 2021 9:27AM ET
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Ron Love it was a sham. wake up 🐑
James Pattison
James Pattison Aug 05, 2021 8:31AM ET
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Until china and india sign on it is a completely moot point
Ron Love
Ron Love Aug 05, 2021 8:31AM ET
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China has already mandated EV displacement of ICE vehichles.
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Aug 05, 2021 8:17AM ET
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Great news! Oil is dead. OPEC is dead. We create our own electricity. No more pipelines.
David Sather
David Sather Aug 05, 2021 8:17AM ET
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40 year death
Dude Dd
Dude Dd Aug 05, 2021 8:17AM ET
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Hazer group is the future
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Aug 05, 2021 6:57AM ET
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Is Biden going to be in office untill 2030? Those are some bold targets.
James Pattison
James Pattison Aug 05, 2021 6:57AM ET
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Biden is gonna be alive in 2022?? Bold target…
Anthony Cloud
Anthony Cloud Aug 05, 2021 6:51AM ET
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Not sure why he is setting targets when he is on his way out
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 05, 2021 6:51AM ET
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we wish. won't happen
 
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