President Joe Biden – a self-confessed ‘car guy’ – will tour the Detroit Auto Show Wednesday and announce that $900 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will go toward building electric vehicle chargers across 53,000 miles of highway in the United States.
Biden is making the trip to tout the ‘electric vehicle manufacturing boom,’ which he’s taking credit for due to his administration’s policies – including new provisions found in the Inflation Reduction Act that the president signed into law last month.
‘The president will discuss how his auto vision and leadership, including through his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act, have positioned the United States to lead the electric vehicle future – creating more jobs and making more in America all while fighting climate change,’ a senior administration official said.
It’s the first time in three years the Detroit Auto Show has gone on thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden championed electric cars during the 2020 campaign and has taken several opportunities to test drive them as president.
President Joe Biden – a self-confessed ‘car guy’ – will tour the Detroit Auto Show Wednesday and announce that $900 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will go toward building electric vehicle chargers across 53,000 miles of highway
In May 2021, President Joe Biden got behind the wheel of the new electric Ford F-150 Lightning at the Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan
President Joe Biden test drove a GMC Hummer EV during a General Motors Factory ZERO electric vehicle plant tour in Detroit in November
He put out a campaign ad called ‘Joe Biden Gets Vetted,’ and shows him seated behind the wheel of his 1967 Corvette talking about how he’d like to see an electric model.
‘I believe that we can own the 21st century market again by moving to electric vehicles,’ he said.
Then in May 2021, he surprised reporters by climbing behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 Lightning, making an unannounced stop at a Ford driving facility.
Secret Service agents generally discourage the president from driving.
‘This sucker’s quick,’ the president remarked after flying around the course.
In May he signed an executive order giving a boost to the electric car industry.
And then on a trip to Detroit in November, Biden test drove an electric Hummer, manufactured by General Motors.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes a $7,500 tax credit for Americans who buy electric cars – but it comes with a lot of caveats as a way to push manufacturers to create cheaper electric cars and seek out components made by the U.S. and its trading partners over China and other rivals.
It helps consumers out by removing a 200,000 vehicle-per-manufacturer annual cap starting in January.
They’re also able to use the tax credit at the point-of-sale, transferring it directly to a car dealer.
Buyers can also get up to $4,000 in tax credit off a sale – of $25,000 max – of a used electric vehicle.
To entice manufacturers and dealers to make electric vehicles cheaper, the tax credits can only be used on sedans under $55,000 and SUVs and vans under $80,000.
There’s an income cap of $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples.
And then as a way to shore up domestic production, to qualify for the full $7,500, the vehicle needs to be assembled in the U.S. – and over a multi-year period more components of the car need to come from the U.S. or a trading partner.
For instance, in 2025 vehicles will not qualify for a tax credit if their batteries’ minerals were extracted, processed or recycled by a ‘foreign entity of concern.’
Critics have called the new rules overly complicated and suggested they could steer Americans away from going electric.
More broadly, conservatives have continued to make electric vehicles a political punching bag.
When California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom recently asked residents to conserve power, a number of conservative commentators snarked that the state that wants to mandate electric vehicles doesn’t have enough energy to power them.
‘California outlaws gasoline powered vehicles, then announces -d in order to avoid brown-outs, that residents should refrain from charging their electric cars,’ remarked radio host Larry Elder, the Republican candidate in last year’s failed recall race to replace Newsom.
Generally speaking, research released late last month found that a super-majority of Americans – 66 to 80 percent – supported major climiate change mitigation policies.
However, research published in Nature Communication found that 80 to 90 percent of Americans underestimated the popularity of such policies.