Biden Government Hosts Musk and Barra During EV Sector Meeting

Months after he assumed office, President Joe Biden revealed plans to significantly electrify America’s transportation sector. His infrastructure bill will invest billions of dollars into building a network of public electric vehicle chargers and subsidizing EV purchases.

In line with the president’s green-energy and electrification goals, senior officials from the Biden administration recently met up with major figures in the automotive sector to discuss electric cars and charging. According to the administration, the Wednesday meeting involved automotive leaders such as Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, and General Motors chief executive Mary Barra.

Aside from the Tesla and GM executives, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, Nissan Americas chair Jeremie Papin and Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley were also present at the meeting. Executives from Subaru of America, Toyota Motor North America, Mercedes-Benz USA, Kia Motors America and Hyundai Motor America were also in attendance.

Additionally, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Transport Secretary Peter Buttigieg, Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy attended the meeting as well.

The consensus of the meeting was that for the populace to adopt electric cars en masse, charging stations and equipment need to be standardized across the country so EV drivers can pull into any public chargers and charge their vehicle regardless of the car’s brand or the location of the charger.

Aside from high upfront costs, one of the most significant problems facing the fledgling electric vehicle industry is poor charging infrastructure. The 113,600 public charging outlets in the country have been installed by different companies, with some working exclusively with certain EV brands.

Since not every charger is compatible with every vehicle, EV drivers often have to plan any long-distance trips meticulously to ensure they don’t run out of charge without a charging station in sight. This leads to range anxiety in many drivers and holds back EV adoption. The officials also discussed investments in the country’s public charging infrastructure.

Last year, Congress approved $7.5 billion in funding to develop a nationwide network of half a million electric vehicle chargers. However, legislation that would set up tax incentives to reduce the cost of manufacturing and purchasing electric vehicles has stalled.

The groundbreaking meeting was held just a few days after car makers voiced their support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter vehicle emission standards. A variety of ethanol producers, corn growers and a Valero Energy subsidiary challenged the new emissions regulations, stating that they essentially mandate the manufacture and sale of zero-emission EVs over traditional combustion engine cars.

However, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation says that while the regulations will challenge the industry, they will maintain regulatory provisions that support the proliferation of electric vehicle technology.

Hopefully, the discussions held with federal government officials will result in concrete steps that will increase EV uptake and boost the sales made by electric vehicle manufacturers such as Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS).

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