President Biden: U.S. To Reach 50% EV Sales By 2030

The Biden administration announced today an executive order that calls for half of all new cars and light trucks sold in the United States be zero-emission vehicles by 2030. (Volvo)

Today, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order that sets voluntary targets for automakers to have electrified vehicles—all-electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles—account for 50 percent of new-car sales by 2030.

"The future of the auto industry is electric, and made in America," the president Tweeted. "Today, I'm signing an executive order with a goal to make 50 percent of new vehicles sold by 2030 zero-emission," he added.

Automakers from across the world signaled their support of the move. The Detroit-based companies—Ford and General Motors, along with new Chrysler Group parent company Stellantis—issued a joint statement that said they all shared an aspiration to reach at least the 40-percent sales threshold by 2030 and that 50 percent wasn't out of the question. "Our recent product, technology, and investment announcements highlight our collective commitment to be leaders in the U.S. transition to electric vehicles," the companies said.

The joint statement called the new federal target a "dramatic shift from the U.S. market today." It said it would only be achieved if combined with the "timely deployment" of the electrification policies that the Biden administration included in its Build Back Better Plan, which includes rebuilding America's infrastructure. The electrification policies include more electric vehicle (EV) purchase incentives, investments in a more extensive and more robust EV charging network and electric-vehicle research and development, as well as government incentives that will "expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States."

The other part of the president's announcement relates to fuel-efficiency standards for gas-powered vehicles. This plan will gradually increase the mileage requirements over five years to build on the 2019 agreement that California made with several automakers when the Trump administration rolled back the higher standards the Obama administration had set. The exact mpg numbers for this part of the plan were not announced. The five automakers that partnered with California in the fight against the previous administration's attempts to roll back federal vehicle emissions standards—BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and Volvo Cars—released a joint statement supporting the Biden administration's announcement.

"We were proud to stand with California to establish progressive new greenhouse gas regulations, and we remain committed to leading the industry in fighting against climate change," the companies said. "That's why we support the administration's goal of reaching an electric vehicle future and applaud President Biden's leadership on reducing emissions and investing in critical infrastructure to achieve these reductions." The joint statement from these companies echoes the Detroit automakers (Ford is part of both statements) in saying, "bold action from our partners in the federal government is crucial to build consumer demand for electric vehicles and put us on track to achieve the global commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement."

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