President Joe Biden seized an opportunity to tout a $174 billion electric vehicle plan during a visit to the Ford Motor electric vehicle plant in Michigan on Tuesday.
The real question is whether we’ll lead, or we’ll fall behind in the race for the future, or whether we will build these vehicles and the batteries that go with them here in the United States or rely on other countries.
“We’re going to set a new pace for electric vehicles,” Biden told Ford workers and executives about the plan. Biden warned the United States is falling behind China, which outpaces the U.S. in EV sales.
He added, “The real question is whether we’ll lead, or we’ll fall behind in the race for the future, or whether we will build these vehicles and the batteries that go with them here in the United States or rely on other countries.”
Biden stressed that the country needs automakers and other companies to keep manufacturing in America and “not take the benefits of our public investments and expand electric vehicles and battery manufacturing abroad.”
The White House encourages developing new battery production facilities in the United States and hopes to stem fears that growing the EV market means fewer jobs for US workers.
The fears arise from recent announcements from automakers. General Motors Co. recently announced plans to invest $1 billion in Mexico to build EVs and Ford announced plans to build some EVs in Mexico versus Ohio.
Biden urged automakers to instead deepen their partnerships with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, leading Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford to comment Ford “employs more UAW workers than other Detroit automakers.” He added that Biden “understands that building things in this country matters.”
The UAW seeks commitment from General Motors to recognize the union at joint-venture battery facilities. Ford is actively considering similar partnerships.
UAW President Rory Gamble stressed it’s important that Biden ensure such investments encourage strong labor standards, good union jobs, and U.S. built vehicles.
The Biden plan proposes cost sharing grants to support high-capacity battery facilities in the United States and backs grants to cover the retooling of shuttered factories to build advanced vehicles and parts.
The plan also earmarks $100 billion for consumer rebates. The White House Fact Sheet on the plan notes “point of sale incentives provide incentives that encourage EV deployment” and notes the incentives will not go toward “expensive luxury models.”
Biden also seeks $15 billion to build 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030 and $45 billion to electrify school and transit buses. He also wants funding to shift federal fleets to EVs. Part of the plan includes having the US Postal Service use EV delivery trucks.