All eyes have been on EV infrastructure since Pete Buttigieg announced new fuel economy standards. Since then, senior officials within the Biden administration have met with the top automotive leaders to discuss charging station infrastructure. So, what happened when the GM, Ford, and Tesla execs met with Biden? Let’s have a deeper look at the discussion and examine what it means for the future of EV travel.
April automaker meeting
On April 6, 2022, the White House held a virtual meeting with the top automotive leaders. This meeting involved some of the biggest names in the industry, including Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, and Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc. It also included Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis (Chrysler’s parent company), Peter Rawlinson, the CEO of Lucid, and Jeremie Papin, a chair from Nissan Americas.
Other automakers were also in attendance. There was representation from Kia Motors America, Mercedes-Benz USA, Toyota Motor North America, Mazda North America, and Hyundai Motor America.
Among the White House administration that took part in the meeting, Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary, might be the most well-known. However, Jennifer Granholm, the Energy Secretary, Gina McCarthy, the National Climate Advisor, and Mitch Landrieu, the Infrastructure Coordinator, were also in attendance.
During the meeting, each automaker had 90 seconds to discuss their future EV plans and to discuss issues. Some of the issues talked about included battery supply chain concerns. With Biden invoking the Defense Production Act earlier this month, the United States should see an increased production of the minerals required for battery supply.
Additionally, the most popular topics revolved around EV charging and infrastructure. Afterward, the administration released a statement, stating “there was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles need to be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you drive or where you charge your EV.”
White House meeting reactions
What was the response following this crucial meeting? For starters, Farley was pleased to send out a tweet that praised the forum. He was thrilled with the focus on commercial vehicle needs as well.
Granholm also took to Twitter to say it was a “very productive meeting – as we roll out EVs and charging infrastructure, the CEOs were very forthcoming about the government’s role as a partner in electrifying the transportation sector.”
Before this meeting, several ethanol groups and states challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stricter new emissions. Interestingly, many automakers back the EPA standards and are pushing back against the states.
Valero Energy subsidiaries and other ethanol companies claim the new EPA rules for updated emission requirements through 2026 “effectively mandate the production and sale of electric cars rather than cars powered by internal combustion engines.”
It seems there are feelings on both sides of the discussion, but none of these opinions will change the direction that the future of transportation is taking.
What does the future hold?
Last year, Congress approved another $7.5 billion in funding to promote the growth of EV charging stations. However, since that approval, the legislation has stalled due, and the focus has shifted to the incentives for building and purchasing EVs.
By 2030, Biden wants to see a minimum of 50% of the new vehicles offered to be either plug-in-hybrids or EVs. There will be countless other meetings and discussions as our country goes through the growing pains that come with adding more EV infrastructure.
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