CO2 Policy Tesla USA

Biden pledges to cut CO2 by 50% in 9 years, but what does it mean for EVs?

It’s Earth Day and to celebrate President Biden announced his ambitious plan to cut greenhouse emissions in the US by 50% in 9 years, making a clear break with Donald Trump’s climate policies (or lack of). He made the announcement at the Leaders Summit on Climate Change and the target will form part of the formal process of rejoining the Paris Climate Accord that the US left in 2017 under President Trump.

This sounds like great news for the climate, although some critics have pointed out that this target is not as deep as the UK (cutting 78% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 against 1990 levels) or the EU (cutting 55% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 against 1990 levels). In order to achieve this goal the US will need to make huge changes in every part of the economy, including transport, so what could this mean for electric vehicles (EVs)?

We haven’t had all the details yet, but there have been some hints in Biden’s presidential campaign such as building 500,000 EV charge points by 2030. Other ideas include electrifying fleets of government vehicles such as school buses, transit and post office vans. This would mean some pretty big orders for EVs which could accelerate the industry even more.

The day before the Summit a group of 12 State Governors wrote to the President asking him to ban the sale of cars and light trucks that emit greenhouse gases by 2035. This would be similar to petrol and diesel car bans already planned in the UK for 2030.

Earlier in the year, the President announced his American Jobs Plan which included $174 billion of funding to kick start EV investment. There has been speculation that this funding will include extending the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit which will make EVs more affordable for consumers. At the moment this tax credit reduces once a car company has sold more than 200,000 EVs, which has penalised US companies such as Tesla and GM that have sold the most EVs in the US. It is expected that the new plan could drop this ceiling, giving a boost to US EV car companies and also add more incentives to help disadvantaged communities access EVs.

Photos from Brecht Denil and NASA on Unsplash

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